Russian football official reacts to Ukrainian World Cup plans
Ukraine’s plan to join Spain and Portugal in bidding to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup is a PR exercise and is unlikely to become a reality, according to Russian football official Vyacheslav Koloskov.
The Times reported this week that Ukraine is set to become part of the Iberian joint bid for the tournament, where it could host part of the group stages.
The news will be confirmed on Wednesday at UEFA headquarters, according to the British newspaper.
Responding to the claims, honorary Russian Football Union (RFU) president Koloskov – who is a former FIFA vice-president – suggested the idea was fanciful.
“This is the decision of the Ukrainian [football] federation, but of course it is absolutely unrealistic,” the veteran dignitary told RIA Novosti.
“No one will allow the holding of the World Cup in countries so far from each other. I repeat, this is not very realistic.
“This is done so that everyone understands that Ukraine is ready to host the tournament or part of the tournament at the level of the World Cup.
“It’s hard to guess why, no one explains their motivation.
“I personally see this as a PR campaign, it makes sense to promote themselves, what they think about the future of the country, the federation, football, and so on.
“But I repeat that this is unlikely to happen.”
Ukraine does have experience of organizing a major football tournament before, joining forces with Poland to host the 2012 UEFA European Championship.
The 2030 World Cup bid, should it materialize, would take place in very different circumstances considering the ongoing conflict with Russia and the uncertainty it creates.
Any three-way bid by Spain, Portugal and Ukraine would face competition from a South American campaign comprising Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Paraguay, as well as a potential joint bid from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Greece.
The hosting rights for the 2030 World Cup are due to be announced by FIFA in 2024.
The last edition of the World Cup was held in Russia in 2018, which was widely hailed as a major success.
The next version will take place in Qatar in November and December of this year, with the 2026 edition being held in the USA, Canada and Mexico.