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Four Balkan nations sign MoU ahead of potential bid for Euro 2028 or World Cup 2030

Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Serbia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to lay the groundwork for a joint bid to host either the 2028 Uefa European Championship or the 2030 Fifa World Cup.

Details of the MoU have not been made public, although it is known that the four signatories – Bulgarian minister of youth and sports Krassen Kralev, Serbian minister of youth and sports Vanja Udovičić , Greek deputy minister of culture and sports Giorgos Vasiliadis and Romanian minister of youth and sports Bogdan Constantin Matthew – made proposals regarding the cities and venues in their respective countries that they hoped to be put forward in the bids.

The MoU also formalises the establishment of an organising committee to work on the preparation of the bids for both events.

A push for the 2030 World Cup is unlikely to succeed, with a joint bid from Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay seen as the strong favourite, celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the first-ever World Cup in Uruguay. 

Discussions are also advanced over a second joint bid, from the four countries of the United Kingdom plus Ireland, which is expected to provide strong opposition to the South American proposal. Spain, Portugal and Morocco have also discussed a joint bid.

Euro 2028, however, is a more realistic target. No other bids are yet confirmed, though Italy and England are both expected to put themselves forward. A Scandinavian bid has also been mooted, with the Danish FA announcing that it had approached the FAs of Finland, Norway and Sweden over a joint effort. 

Earlier this year, Uefa’s director of marketing Guy-Laurent Epstein told SportBusiness that a multi-nation hosting strategy was likely to become more common as Uefa attempts to balance an expanding tournament format with a desire to take the competition to more countries.