Madrid, Jun 4 (EFE).- Spain’s King Felipe VI and Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa were on hand here Friday for the formal launch of their countries’ joint candidacy to host the 2030 World Cup.
The respective prime ministers, Pedro Sanchez of Spain and Portugal’s Antonio Costa, were also present for the event at Wanda Metropolitano stadium, home of reigning LaLiga champions Atletico Madrid.
The ceremony preceded an international friendly between Spain and Portugal on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the first match between the two national teams.
“The heads of state are honor witnesses to this act,” Spanish soccer federation chief Luis Rubiales said. “Our gratitude is infinite, also for the political leaders of our governments, who will sign pledges of respect and support for this pact, this union between two fraternal countries.”
His Portuguese counterpart, Fernando Gomes, stressed the “commitment of both federations to work together and as a single nation.”
“The governments of Portugal and Spain wish to express their desire and commitment to host jointly the 2030 World Cup, a sporting spectacle of the first magnitude,” reads the document signed by premier Sanchez and Costa.
“We express our most decided support for the candidacy, as well as the commitment to contribute to the securing of the definitive nomination and to the certain success of its realization,” the text says.
The document goes on to highlight “the economic and social solidity” of Spain and Portugal and their “demonstrated capacity to hold international events with success,” as well as the existence in both countries of “first-class” infrastructure.
After the signing, all of the participants posed for a group photo before and Felipe and Rebelo de Sousa presented each other with national team shirts. EFE rmm/dr