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Balkan countries to prepare joint soccer bid

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic (second right), poses with Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila (second left), Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov (l) and Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras after talks in Belgrade, Serbia, Saturday.

TAGS: Soccer, Diplomacy

The leaders of Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia have agreed to form a commission to prepare a joint bid to host soccer’s European Championship in 2028 or the World Cup in 2030.

They also reaffirmed their backing for Serbia’s aim’s to join the European Union and discussed ways of bolstering its bid the during a quadrilateral summit between Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Serbia in Belgrade on Saturday.

“We believe that the Balkans should become the center point of peace, cooperation, co-development and economic cooperation,” Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in the joint statements after the end of summit.

“But this can only occur through the EU’s enlargement,” he added.

He also lauded the growing cooperation between the countries of the region: “We have created a very good team, a team that has learned to combine, to give passes, to play a good defense, protecting the interests of each country as well as the region because they are common interests.”

Referring to the basketball tradition shared by Greece and Serbia, Tsipras said jokingly that if two countries combined forces they could take on the stars of the NBA.

“If one day we form a mixed basketball team, we could be competitive in the NBA because we and the Serbs have an extraordinary basketball tradition,” he said.

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