With the continent-wide Euro 2020 coming up as well as the North American-hosted 2026 World Cup, joint-bids are becoming all the rage.
After months of consideration, Greece’s deputy sports minister, George Vassiliadis announced that a memorandum of understanding had been signed between Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Romania to host either the Euro 2028 championship or the 2030 World Cup.
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Euro 2024 will be hosted by Germany, but the Greece-Bulgaria-Serbia-Romania bid is the first official bid for the tournament in 2028. Italy and England are also reportedly interested in solo hosting, while Spain and Portugal could do a combined “Iberian Euros” and there is a possible Scandinavian bid between Denmark Finland, Norway, and Sweden.
For the 2030 World Cup, the probable leaders are a joint-bid between Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile, as it would be 100 years since Uruguay hosted the inaugural World Cup. Morocco has also announced it would bid for that year’s World Cup.
A tournament in Southeastern Europe would be the first major event in the area since the 2004 Athens Olympics, and a chance to improve local infrastructure while sharing on expensive stadium costs. It’s unclear exactly how the tournament would work within these countries, however there would have to be some adjustments with travel visas. Only Greece is a current member of the European Union and is part of its Schengen Area agreement, where one wouldn’t have to go through passport control every time they entered a new country.
On the sporting side, though, it would be a boost to all four countries to make it back to the World Cup. Only Serbia of the quartet qualified for the last World Cup, though their chances will improve with the introduction of the 48-team tournament in 2026.