Theresa May says joint UK and Ireland bid for 2030 World Cup will be backed by the government

29 Sep

A joint UK and Ireland bid to host the 2030 World Cup would get Government backing, Prime Minister Theresa May has confirmed.

She hinted she would offer Government support if the Football Association proceeds with an official bid for the tournament.

England exceeded all expectations at the 2018 tournament

The FAs of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland are currently undertaking feasibility work and considering putting forward a proposal.

Mrs May, speaking on eve of the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, said: “Following the excitement of this summer’s World Cup, the English FA are working together with the FAs of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland to explore whether there could be a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup.

“The decision on whether to bid is, of course, for the football associations to make. But if they decide to go forward, they can count on this government’s full support.”

The news comes as Education Secretary Damian Hinds and Sports Minister Tracey Crouch announce they will lead a new cross-government action plan to improve competitive school sports.

Hampden Park in Glasgow is a potential venue for the tournament

They will convene key organisations in the sports world – including the Premier League, the FA and the RFU – to agree a new plan on how to get more kids playing competitive sport.

Former England and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand welcomed the Government’s backing for a World Cup bid, saying: “It’s a brilliant time to be a fan of the Home Nations teams.

“Michael O’Neill and Northern Ireland continue to surpass all expectations. Alex McLeish is building an exciting young Scottish side.

“Wales are going from strength-to-strength under my old mate Giggsy (Ryan Giggs).

Wales performed excellently at Euro 2016, reaching the semi-finals

“And who can forget Gareth Southgate and England’s unbelievable performance this summer in Russia?

“I made my Premier League debut in 1996, the last time there was a major football tournament on these shores, and the excitement across the country was something else. So I really welcome the support the Government is offering.”

London and Glasgow will host 11 games in the European Championships in 2020 with Wembley hosting the semi-finals and the final.

In the last six years the UK has successfully hosted the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart and the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Northern Ireland reached their first tournament in 30 years when they took part in Euro 2016

Any bid for football’s biggest global tournament would face opposition from the joint campaign of Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay which could be buoyed by the fact 2030 marks 100 years since the first World Cup, held in Uruguay in 1930.

It is also possible there will be an African bid, especially in light of Morocco’s defeat to the USA for the 2026 tournament.

Labour also welcomed the announcement, with shadow digital, culture, media and sport secretary Tom Watson pointing out it had also backed the plan in July.

The deputy party leader added: “I’m delighted that the Prime Minister has followed Labour’s lead and is willing to back a bid.

“This summer’s World Cup and the performance of England inspired the nation.

“In 2030, it’s time for football to come home.”

FA considers England bid to host 2030 World Cup

1 Aug

The FA is considering a bid to host the 2030 World Cup in England.

Chairman Greg Clarke revealed that the governing body has started work to see if a bid would be feasible.

He said: “This work will take place during the new season and no decision will be made until 2019.”

England last hosted the World Cup in 1966


It is understood the FA are hopeful of a more transparent bidding process this time, after failing in their attempt to host the 2018 tournament.

They are encouraged by the recent vote which saw the United States, Canada and Mexico awarded the 2026 World Cup.

There has not been a major football tournament in England since Euro ’96 and the country last hosted the World Cup 30-years prior in 1966.

Wembley is already hosting seven games during Euro 2020, and the FA has bid to host the European Women’s Championship in 2021.

Blatter ‘backs British bid’ to host 2030 World Cup

20 Jun

Sepp Blatter believes a British bid ‘deserves’ to host the 2030 World Cup, whether it be from England or all the home nations.

England were knocked out of the first round of bidding for this year’s World Cup with just one vote in 2010, but have reportedly been encouraged by recent conversations with FIFA officials about hosting the tournament in 12 years’ time.

Blatter is in Russia to watch the World Cup but is banned from working for FIFA until 2022

England could join up with the FAs of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland to put forward a combined bid, a format seen as more capable of handling demand with the tournament expanding to 48 teams and 80 games from 2026.

The 2026 tournament will be hosted by Canada, the United States and Mexico, set to be the second World Cup with more than one host after South Korea and Japan in 2002.

Blatter, who quit as FIFA president in 2015 amid corruption charges and is currently suspended from the organisation until 2022, told Sky Sports News: “I think that England and Ireland, they deserve to organise the World Cup, really. They had it in 1966 and that’s a long time ago. Why not?

“I think they will be candidates I am sure, and with 48 teams you need more than one country, definitely.”

England’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup drew support from the likes of David Beckham, Prince William and then-Prime Minister David Cameron, but received only one vote from FIFA delegates

In 2010, England put forward bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, but focused their efforts on 2018, eventually given to Russia, after being told by FIFA that their continental rotation policy was unlikely to be deterred from.

The bid received just one vote, knocked out in the first ballot, with Russia, and combined Spain/Portugal and Belgium/Netherlands bids, receiving more votes.

Of the 22-man committee who voted on the 2018 and 2022 hosting applications, eight have since been accused, indicted for, or convicted of criminal corruption, while ten were banned by FIFA for corruption or ethics breaches.

The World Cup has not been on British shores since England won the tournament as hosts in 1966

It was thought England were unlikely to make another bid for some time after losing faith in the voting system, but recent reports show they could submit an application, be it on their own or with the other British FAs, for 2030.

The bid has already been backed by UEFA President Alexander Ceferin and the German FA, with Asian and North American bids not allowed after being granted 2022 and 2026 hosting status.

Two bids have been confirmed for 2030 already, including a combined bid from Argentina and Uruguay, and also from Morocco, who lost out in the final voting round for 2026.