Ukraine to bid for 2030 men’s football World Cup with Spain and Portugal

Ukraine will join Spain’s and Portugal’s bid to co-host the 2030 World Cup in a move sanctioned by the country’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Confirmation of the partnership is expected at a news conference on Wednesday afternoon. It is understood that Ukraine, which has been under full-scale invasion by Russia since 24 February, will host one of the tournament’s groups if the bid is successful. Spain and Portugal confirmed two years ago that they would make a joint proposal to host in 2030 and the addition of Ukraine would give it a new dimension.

Although Ukraine’s national team are playing their home matches in Poland and the domestic league, which restarted successfully in August, is taking place behind closed doors there is confidence that any security concerns will be far less pronounced in eight years’ time. Ukraine co-hosted Euro 2012 with Poland and has shown it can stage large-scale events in peacetime.

The Uefa-backed bid will face competition, including from a collaboration between Egypt, Greece and Saudi Arabia, and a South American proposal from Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay and Chile. Last month the Uefa president, Aleksander Ceferin, said he believed Spain and Portugal would put together a “winning bid”.