March 28, 2023

The heads of government of Spain and Portugal on Wednesday confirmed that the inclusion of Morocco in their countries’ joint bid to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup “boosts” their chances of winning and sends a message of unity between Europe and Africa.

Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said during a press conference he held with his Spanish counterpart Pedro Sanchez in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands: “I think that the candidacy of the Iberian Peninsula with Morocco has a very important weight and a message to the world, especially Europe and Africa “.

“We are two neighboring continents and we want to work together. We are not two distant continents that want to compete, but on the contrary, we want to celebrate sport and all the values ​​associated with sport together.”

And King Mohammed VI of Morocco announced on Tuesday that Morocco had joined Spain and Portugal for 2030, noting that Morocco had previously been nominated five times to host the World Cup but failed in 1994, 1998, 2006, 2010 and 2026 years.

For his part, Sánchez felt that the addition of Morocco “puts the joint candidacy of Spain and Portugal in the best possible position to win this race”, adding “It sends a positive signal and improves the conditions” for winning the file.

In his message, King Mohammed VI made it clear that the joint candidacy would be called the connection of Africa and Europe, between the north and south of the Mediterranean, as well as between the African continent, the Arab world and the Euro-Mediterranean space.

But, according to the Spanish press, the addition of Morocco confirms that Ukraine will be excluded from the dossier after the recent suspension of the head of the Ukrainian Football Federation due to allegations of corruption.

Neither Costa nor Sanchez mentioned Ukraine during their press conference on Wednesday.

According to a source in the Spanish federation, representatives of the three federations were to meet on Wednesday in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, on the sidelines of the FIFA General Assembly meeting.

The 2030 World Cup is timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the first World Cup in the capital of Uruguay, Montevideo. Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay released a joint official file last month.

Since its inception in 1930, one FIFA World Cup has been held in two countries, in 2002 in South Korea and Japan, with the United States, Mexico and Canada hosting the next championship in 2026, the first time when 48 teams compete against 32 previously.

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