Portugal avoids endorsing the joint bid to the World Cup | sports

The President of the Government, Pedro Sanchez, and the Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa, tried yesterday to offer a unitary image regarding the 2030 World Cup. But the cautions expressed by Costa frustrated that push. Sanchez emphasized his willingness to present a joint candidacy between Spain, Portugal and Morocco to move the world "a message of fraternity, friendship and cooperation." Costa only pointed out that it is "a good idea" that must be worked on.

The project, unveiled this week during Sanchez's visit to the king of Morocco, Mohamed VI, caught Portugal by surprise, whose authorities had not been officially informed. Sanchez admitted in a press conference that he had only discussed with Costa informally about this initiative, but he gave it as a political backing. "We have talked about it and now it will be the football federations of the three countries that will have to work," he explained, to questions from the Portuguese press, in a joint appearance of the two presidents after holding a Spanish-Portuguese summit in Valladolid.

Much more distant, the Portuguese leader began to add nuances: "It is essential to do the work at home, to know if the bylaws change the fact that the World Cup is held on two different continents. Also ensure that the initiative is not misunderstood in other African countries. " The Portuguese leader referred to other possible African candidacies that could be out of play with this joint (in recent months also Morocco had expressed interest to concur with Algeria and Tunisia). Costa admitted, finally, that the trial has a "high complexity".

Far from clarifying, the announcement does not clear the way for a possible joint bid that has also generated criticism in Spain. The first reaction of Portugal was to insist that it had no official record of those intentions of the Spanish president. Government sources maintain that Sánchez had personally discussed with Costa about the joint bid for the World Cup. And that the reaction had been favorable.

Spain considers that a candidacy that brings together two continents is more likely to prosper, although it would have to fight with defending Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.

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