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Four Balkan countries to explore 2030 World Cup bid

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Four Balkan countries to explore 2030 World Cup bid

Four Balkan countries to explore 2030 World Cup bid
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Maxim Shemetov(Reuters)
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VARNA, Bulgaria (Reuters) - Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia and Romania will explore a potential joint Balkan bid to host the 2030 World Cup, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said on Friday.

A Balkan country has never hosted the World Cup. Yugoslavia, which collapsed in 1991, hosted the four-country European Championships in 1976.

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"I think it is worth discussing the proposal of (Greek Prime Minister Alexis) Tsipras," Borissov told a joint news conference during a four-party summit between Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Serbia in the Black Sea city of Varna.

Tsipras said the four countries would discuss the possibility of becoming candidates for a major sporting event within 10 years.

"Just as Bulgaria and Italy hosted the world volleyball championship (in September), the four countries -- Serbia, Greece, Romania and Bulgaria -- (can) bid to host the world's (soccer) championship in 2030," Borissov said.

The English Football Association has already announced plans to conduct a feasibility study into a joint bid for the 2030 tournament along with Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

The Football Association of Ireland said it will join them in exploring the potential bid.

A South American tri-nation bid involving Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay has already been announced for 2030. The bid is designed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the first World Cup, which took place in Uruguay in 1930.

Morocco, which has made five unsuccessful bids to host the tournament including 2026, has also said it would try again for 2030. Algeria and Tunisia are considering joining Morocco in a joint North African bid.

The 2026 World Cup will be hosted jointly by the United States, Mexico and Canada.

(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; additional reporting by Renee Maltezou in Athens; Editing by Toby Davis)

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