The respective football associations of Spain and Portugal announced on Saturday that they are exploring the idea of jointly bidding to host the FIFA World Cup in 2030. They also announced that Morocco, which was earlier cited as a perennial partner, will not be with them.

The football federations of Spain and Portugal in a statement said that after going through several meetings they have decided to go through a process of analysis on the possibility of a joint bid to organize the 2030 World Cup. “Both federations want to take the opportunity to communicate that the governments of both countries are adequately informed about the process, as they will play a fundamental part of their development,” the statement added.

The reason behind the change in position of Lisbon and Madrid to leave out Morocco is unknown. But the two countries had also tried to host the event jointly in 2018 and had tried to earn the hosting rights for the 2022 edition also.

Other than the two nations, the South American quartet of Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay and Chile would be joining them in the process of bidding along with the European trio of Greece, Romania and Serbia. The United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland have also shown interested in hosting the tournament. The final decision on the host will be made in 2022.

(With inputs from PTI)