War-hit Ukraine is set to join Spain and Portugal in their bid to host the 2030 football World Cup, according to reports.
Ukraine, which was invaded by neighbouring Russia in late February, would host one of the groups in the tournament under the plan which is understood to have been sanctioned by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the governments of Spain and Portugal, The Times reported on Monday.
The new partnership is due to be announced by Spain and Portugal football chiefs during a news conference at European football’s governing body UEFA’s headquarters in Switzerland on Wednesday, the report by the British daily said.
On Tuesday, Spanish government spokeswoman Isabel Rodriguez said Madrid would support Ukraine joining the bid with Portugal.
Meanwhile, Andriy Pavelko, the president of the Ukrainian football federation, confirmed to The Associated Press news agency that he would go to Switzerland for the announcement, but he declined to confirm the details of the project.
The hosts of the 2030 tournament will be chosen in two years’ time at the congress of world football’s governing body FIFA, which organises the event.
The 2022 World Cup will begin on November 20 in Qatar – the first to be held in the Middle East – while the 2026 edition will be played in the United States, Canada and Mexico.