Ukraine's hosting of the World Cup is linked to the horrors of war

Ukraine’s hosting of the World Cup is linked to the horrors of war

NEON, Switzerland – Hosting the World Cup in 2030 would be “the dream of people who have survived the horrors of war,” Ukrainian Football Federation president Andriy Pavlko said Wednesday after his country Started joint bidding with Spain and Portugal.

The heads of three football federations have come together at UEFA headquarters to launch a campaign they hope will connect people beyond the world of sport.

“This is the dream of millions of Ukrainian fans,” Pavlko told a news conference, “the dream of people who survived the horrors of the war or are in the occupied territories, and the Ukrainian flag will surely fly.”

Pavelko said that the project is supported by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi.

The expected Spain-Portugal bid, which has been in the works for more than three years, was previously named UEFA’s top contender. FIFA will vote on the host in 2024.

“Now it’s not an Iberian bid, it’s a European bid,” said Luis Rubiales, president of the Spanish Football Federation, at the opening. “Together we represent the transformative power of football in society.”

No details have been given on how many matches of the 48-team World Cup will be played in Ukraine or in which cities. The Olympic Stadium in Kyiv hosted the 2012 European Championships and the 2018 Champions League finals.

The European bid is expected to go head-to-head with South American contenders, along with co-hosts Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Saudi Arabia, which has forged close ties with FIFA and its president, Gianni Infantino, is preparing potential bids from several continents, including Egypt and Greece. It is not clear how Greece will be approved by UEFA to participate in this section.

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