By Lizete Dos Santos, CNN
“Our bid is not an Iberian bid anymore, it’s a European bid,” RFEF president Luis Rubiales said during a press conference at European football governing body UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.
“I’m convinced that now our bid is much better than before. Football is universal, and if it is capable of changing the life of people in so many ways, it should also be used for doing good,” Rubiales continued.
The Spain, Portugal and Ukraine bid for the 2030 marquee football tournament has UEFA’s support and will compete against other partnership bids including Egypt, Greece and Saudi Arabia as well as a South American bid from Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay and Chile.
The Qatar 2022 World Cup takes place from November 20 to December 18, while the United States, Canada and Mexico will host the 2026 edition of football’s flagship event.
With the tournament coming up next month, controversies around the competition continue to bubble. This week, Paris said it will not organize fan zones for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, citing social and environmental issues, joining Strasbourg, Lille, Rodez, Bordeaux, Nancy and Reims in committing to not organizing public viewings.
“[Our reasons are] firstly because of the environmental and social conditions regarding the event and this is not the model that we wish to promote for major events in Paris,” Pierre Rabadan, Paris’ deputy mayor of sport, said on Tuesday.
However, the city made it clear that it is not a boycott of the event itself, nor of the Qatari regime.
“It doesn’t mean that we are calling for a boycott of the event,” added Rabadan.
Since Qatar won the bid to host the World Cup in 2010, more than 6,500 migrant workers have died in the country, the Guardian has previously reported
Most of the workers, the authors alleged, were involved in low-wage, dangerous labor, often done in extreme heat.
The Guardian report did not definitively link all 6,500 deaths to World Cup infrastructure projects, though one expert told the British paper it was “likely many workers who have died were employed” on those projects.
CNN has not independently verified the Guardian’s figures.
Qatar World Cup officials deny the Guardian report and estimate a very different death toll, telling CNN last year that there have been just three work-related deaths on stadiums and 35 non-work-related deaths.
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CNN’s Alasdair Howorth, Xiaofei Xu, Natacha Bracken and Renée Bertini contributed reporting.