Ukraine seemingly replaced in joint FIFA World Cup bid — RT World News

Spain and Portugal are now joined by Morocco, with the North African country calling the collaboration “unprecedented in the history of football”.

Morocco have announced they are joining Spain and Portugal’s bid to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup, seemingly replacing Ukraine in the trio of potential hosts.

Madrid and Lisbon submitted their joint bid in 2021, and last October added Kyiv to their bid, saying they wanted “give hope” to Ukrainians in the midst of the conflict with Russia. At the time, the head of the Portuguese Football Federation, Fernando Gomes, explained that this gesture was a way of “contribute through the power of football to the recovery of a country undergoing reconstruction.”

However, on Wednesday, Moroccan Sports Minister Chakib Benmoussa read a message from Morocco’s King Mohammed VI in Rwanda’s capital Kigali, where FIFA is hosting its 73rd congress.

“The Kingdom of Morocco has decided, together with Spain and Portugal, to submit a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup”, the read message.

“This joint candidacy, unprecedented in the history of football, will bring together Africa and Europe, the north and south of the Mediterranean, the African, Arab and Euro-Mediterranean worlds,” he added. said the king.

The royal message did not mention Ukraine, so it is unclear whether Kyiv has been exempted from the bid altogether or if the bid will be extended to four countries.

When asked to comment on Rabat’s announcement, a spokesperson for the Spanish Football Federation said the country’s football chief would meet his Portuguese and Moroccan counterparts later on Wednesday.

“The presidents will announce any news regarding the bid for the 2030 World Cup in Kigali,” thesman spoke clarified. He did not mention the potential involvement of Ukraine.

The Moroccan football team made huge waves at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar a few months ago, knocking out Spain and Portugal in the playoffs to become the first African country to reach the semis. -finals.

Spain is separated from Morocco only by the Strait of Gibraltar, while the distance between Ukraine and the Iberian Peninsula, where Spain and Portugal are located, is several thousand kilometers.

The other candidates to host the World Cup in seven years are a joint Latin American bid from Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Paraguay, and another transcontinental bid from Saudi Arabia, Greece and Egypt.

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