Ukraine has joined Spain and Portugal’s bid to host the 2030 World Cup, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) announced on Wednesday.
“Our bid is no longer an Iberian bid, it’s a European bid,” RFEF president Luis Rubiales told a press conference at the headquarters of European football’s governing body UEFA in Nyon, Switzerland.
“I am sure that our offer is now much better than before. “Football is universal, and if it can change people’s lives in so many ways, it should also be used for good,” continued Rubiales.
Spain, Portugal and Ukraine’s bid for the 2030 soccer tournament is backed by UEFA and will compete against other joint bids including Egypt, Greece and Saudi Arabia, as well as South American bids from Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay and Chile.
The Qatar 2022 World Cup will be held from November 20 to December 18, while the United States, Canada and Mexico will host the 2026 edition of soccer.
With the tournament coming up next month, the controversy surrounding the competition continues to bubble. This week, Paris said it would not host fan zones for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, citing social and environmental concerns, joining Strasbourg, Lille, Rodez, Bordeaux, Nancy and Reims in pledging not to host public spectators.
“[Our reasons are] first of all, because of the environmental and social conditions of the event, which is not the model we want to promote for major events in Paris,” said Pierre Rabadan, deputy sports mayor of Paris, on Tuesday.
However, the council made it clear that it is not boycotting the event itself, nor the Qatari regime.
“It does not mean that we are calling for a boycott of the event,” Rabadan added.
Since Qatar won the bid to host the World Cup in 2010, more than 6,500 migrant workers have died in the country, the Guardian reported.
Most of the workers, according to the authors, were engaged in low-wage, dangerous work that was often done in extreme heat.
The Guardian’s report did not definitively link all 6,500 deaths to World Cup infrastructure projects, although one expert told the British newspaper that “many of the workers who died” were probably working on those projects.
CNN has not independently verified the Guardian’s figures.
Qatar World Cup officials deny the Guardian’s report and estimate a very different death toll, telling CNN last year that there were just three work-related deaths in stadiums and just 35 work-related deaths.