The Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) and the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) signed an agreement on June 4 to "prompt" a joint application to organize the 2030 Football World Cup.
The presidents of both countries' federations, Fernando Gomes and Luis Rubiales, had already agreed on the protocol at the Estádio José Alvalade last October, where the national teams of Portugal and Spain played a friendly match.
This proposal for a joint Iberian organization reinforces the candidacy to organize the 2030 World Cup, establishing common strategies and cooperation platforms at a technical level and for sporting events organisation. The federations are also committed to "joining efforts in different areas, such as social responsibility and the exchange of experiences and knowledge".
The application path
The signing ceremony of the agreement was attended by Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, President of the Republic of Portugal, António Costa, Prime Minister, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, and King Filipe VI of Spain, in the Atletico Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano stadium.
The document signed by the heads of the governments of Portugal and Spain stresses that the candidacy is based on the economic and social solidity of both countries, on the demonstrated capacity to successfully organise and develop international events, on the existence of world-class infrastructures, on the sporting successes achieved, both by clubs and national teams, but, above all, in the friendship relationship cultivated over centuries between Portugal and Spain: "more than a union, it's a fusion", Luis Rubiales stressed.
From the Portuguese federation, Fernando Gomes recalled that "the 1992 Olympic Games were organized by Spain, certainly not by chance, and continue in the collective memory of fans and sportsmen worldwide. Not only for what the Games signified but also for the sports facilities legacy that allowed new achievements by athletes in Spain. Euro2004, in Portugal, is mentioned to this day as an exemplary and transformative experience, mixing a country and culture with the rest of the world. Amid the pandemic, Portugal and Spain organised the Champions League men and women finals. A week ago, Portugal and the city of Porto once again joined hands with Europe, organising the Champions League final for the second year in a row".
2021: a historic date
The presidents of both countries' federations also mentioned that a hundred years ago, on December 18, 1921, the two countries faced each other for the first time in a football match. This is one more historic landmark of the history and culture that both countries have in common. Coincidently, the 2030 World Cup will mark the centenary of this competition.
Both countries excellence in event organisation and tourism would not fail to be mentioned: Luís Rubiales made a point of noting: "I know that we are going to form a great team so that altogether we can show our values, which are work, humility, excellence, proximity and hospitality. We have the best beaches and tourism. We have the food, the weather, and much more. The success of Portugal and Spain will also be the success of FIFA."
The two Iberian countries face competition in the bid to organize the tournament, at least from Argentina and Uruguay. FIFA is expected to announce the host for the 2030 World Cup in the spring of 2022, sometime around the World Cup in Qatar. In 2026, the Cup will be jointly organised by the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
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