Ukraine join Spain and Portugal in joint bid for 2030 World Cup
Ukraine have joined Spain and Portugal in a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup, it was announced on Wednesday.
Spain and Portugal had already joined forces with an "Iberian bid" to host but Ukraine have joined as a third host, with the bid now being referred to as a "European bid".
Reports on Tuesday revealed Ukraine's involvement, and it was confirmed on Wednesday by the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) at UEFA's Swiss headquarters, with Europe's governing body backing the bid.
According to reports, the plan is for Ukraine to play host to one group in the 48-team tournament – which will be the second with expanded teams after the 2026 World Cup in North America; hosted by the United States, Mexico and Canada.
Ukraine previously hosted the 2012 European Championship alongside Poland, while Portugal hosted the same tournament in 2004. Neither has hosted the World Cup previously but Spain hosted it in 1982.
The European bid will compete with others for the rights to host the 2030 tournament, with a final decision to be made in 2024.
Currently, a South American proposal from Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay and Chile has been made, while it is reported a joint bid from Greece, Saudi Arabia and Egypt is also in the works.
Another inter-federation bid may involve Israel, partnering with the United Arab Emirates or Bahrain, while Morocco could launch a joint bid with other northern African nations having failed with previous bids for the tournaments in 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010.
Australia could also be an option, with reports previously indicating a joint proposal could be made alongside either New Zealand or Indonesia.
A plethora of joint bids appear to suggest that this year's World Cup in Qatar could be the final tournament to be hosted by a single nation, with the appeal of hosting the tournament in numerous countries increasing – particularly to involve those who would not be able to host a tournament individually.
The increase to a 48-team World Cup would also put further strain on individual nations to host an entire tournament, with a total of 80 matches to be played – an increase on the 64 that will be played in Qatar.