The Spanish and Portuguese heads of government confirmed, on Wednesday, that the inclusion of Morocco in their countries’ joint file to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup “enhances” their chances of winning and sends a message of unity between Europe and Africa.

Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said during a press conference 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 weight and a very important message to the world, especially to 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 together sport and all the values ​​associated with sport,” he added from islands west of Morocco in the Atlantic Ocean.

On Tuesday, King Mohammed VI of Morocco announced Morocco’s accession to Spain and Portugal for the year 2030, noting that Morocco had previously nominated five times to host the World Cup, but its attempts failed in 1994, 1998, 2006, 2010 and 2026.

For his part, Sanchez considered that the addition of Morocco “puts the joint candidacy of Spain and Portugal in the best conditions to win this race,” adding, “This sends a positive message and improves the conditions” for winning the file.

In his message, the Moroccan king stated that the joint candidacy will bear the title of linking Africa and Europe, between the north and south of the Mediterranean, and between the African continent, the Arab world and the Euro-Mediterranean space.

On June 5, 2021, during a friendly match between the two countries, Spain and Portugal announced their joint candidacy, before they secured Ukraine last October. But according to the Spanish press, the addition of Morocco confirms that Ukraine will be removed from the file after the work of the head of the Ukrainian Football Federation was recently suspended due to allegations corruption.

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

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

The 2030 World Cup marks the 100th anniversary of the first World Cup in the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo. Last month, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay launched their official joint file.

Since its inception in 1930, one edition of the World Cup has been held in two countries, in 2002 in South Korea and Japan, knowing that the United States, Mexico and Canada will host the next edition in 2026, which is the first time that 48 teams compete against 32 previously.

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