Ukraine will join Spain and Portugal in the competing bid to host the 2030 World Cup, representatives of the Spanish, Portuguese and Ukrainian football associations confirmed at UEFA’s headquarters on Wednesday.
Ukrainian football association (UAF) president Andriy Pavelko called the decision a uniting move for football.
“This is the dream of millions of Ukrainian fans. The dream of people who survived the horrors of war or are still in the occupied territories, over which the Ukrainian flag will surely fly soon,” said Andriy Pavelko, president of Ukraine’s football federation.
Spain and Portugal first joined together to host the World Cup last June.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised the move on his Twitter account.
“The joint bid of Spain, Portugal & Ukraine to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup is more than a symbol of faith in our joint victory. Ukraine will endure, prevail & be rebuilt thanks to the solidarity of its partners,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter.
Spain’s football federation president, Luis Rubiales, dubbed the action a continent step toward progress.
“Our bid is not an Iberian bid any more; it’s a European bid,” Rubiales said.
The trio of countries is contesting the bid of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Greece. Meanwhile, South America is hosting a superstar bid with Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, and Chile.
FIFA will vote in 2024 for the host.
The announced bid comes as Ukraine faces a brutal invasion by Russia that has claimed the lives of thousands since it was launched in February.