Ukraine to make World Cup bid – media
Ukraine will join Spain and Portugal’s bid to host the FIFA 2030 World Cup, according to a report in The Times.
The British newspaper claims that Ukraine is aiming to host one of the tournament’s group stages as part of the plan, which has reportedly been agreed by the governments of all three countries.
Spain and Portugal will announce the new partnership at a press conference from European governing body UEFA’s headquarters on Wednesday, The Times reported.
The two Iberian nations will receive competition from Morocco to host the tournament, in addition to a South American bid containing Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, and Chile.
Saudi Arabia, Greece, and Egypt are also keen on a joint bid to host football’s biggest spectacle, with China, Australia, and South Korea expressing separate interest.
Ukraine has held a major football tournament before, joining forces with Poland to host the 2012 UEFA European Championship.
The current circumstances are markedly different, however, considering the ongoing conflict with Russia and the widespread disruption throughout Ukraine.
Russia held the tournament in 2018, which was widely hailed as a major success, but Ukraine failed to qualify.
Ukraine will not feature at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar next month either after losing a qualifying playoff final against Wales in June.
Ukraine made a debut appearance at FIFA’s showpiece tournament in 2006 in Germany, being knocked out in the quarterfinals by eventual winners Italy, but they have not featured at the competition since then.
Qualification for the 2026 World Cup, which is set to be held in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, will begin in March 2023.
Ukraine would be expected to qualify automatically in 2030 if plans to join Spain and Portugal’s campaign are accepted and the nations win their hosting bid.
The winner of the 2030 World Cup bidding process will be announced at the FIFA Congress in 2024, as decided at a 2019 council meeting in Shanghai.