World Cup 2030: FA considers England bid to host tournament

Picture of England players celebrating winning their home World Cup in 1966
Could England host a first World Cup since 1966?

The Football Association is considering putting England forward as a potential host for the 2030 World Cup.

The last major tournament played in England was the 1996 European Championship, 30 years after the country hosted its only World Cup.

FA chairman Greg Clarke says the governing body's board has agreed to start work to see if a bid is feasible.

"This work will take place during the new season and no decision will be made until 2019," added Clarke.

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

England failed with a bid - fronted by former captain David Beckham, Prince William and former prime minister David Cameron - to host the 2018 World Cup.

Russia were instead announced as hosts by Sepp Blatter, the ex-president of world governing body Fifa.

England felt aggrieved by that bidding process but it is thought the FA has been encouraged over 2030 by the greater transparency around the recent vote for the 2026 World Cup, which was won by a joint United States, Canada and Mexico bid.

It will now decide whether to bid to become the potential candidate from Uefa, European football's governing body.

Fifa vice-president David Gill said in June England should have "great confidence".

However, there is expected to be a strong joint bid from Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, with 2030 marking the 100-year anniversary of the first World Cup in Uruguay.


Dan Roan, BBC sports editor

Today is no guarantee that the FA will decide to bid and many will no doubt see is as a doomed and needless waste of money after England's humiliating and ill-fated bid for the 2018 World Cup. But the fact that such a move is being considered reflects a growing confidence from within the governing body that its image in the international game has improved.

Significantly, the government is understood to be more supportive of the idea of bidding than it once was.

Firstly, it now has more faith in Fifa since the overhaul in its leadership following years of corruption scandals. But it also believes the hosting of international sports events is now in Britain's 'DNA' and - unlike the 2012 London Olympics - this would not be a vastly expensive big-build project, with the stadium infrastructure already in place.

I understand the government likes the idea of a UK-wide bid, with the home nations also hosting matches. The FA intends to discuss the idea of a joint bid with the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland FAs. It is also hopeful that Uefa would back an English or British bid.

Michael O'Neill: World Cup 2030 bid would be 'huge' for Northern Ireland

England will not step in to host 2022 World Cup - Clarke

Clarke also dismissed claims by former FA chairman Lord Triesman that England could step in to host the 2022 World Cup, should Qatar be stripped of the competition.

It comes after a Sunday Times published a reportexternal-link claiming the Qatari bid team ran a smear campaign to sabotage rivals.

The reports says public relations firms were hired to "pump out fake propaganda about the United States and Australia" and recruited influential people to speak out against their bids.

The allegations are denied by the Qatar tournament organisers.

Clarke said: "Fifa has chosen Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup and they have a duty to investigate any issues around the process that are rightly thrown into question.

"Russia did a brilliant job hosting the 2018 World Cup and we support the rotation of World Cup hosting around confederations. That would make the 2030 World Cup the next one a European nation might be able to host and not before.

"Anyone suggesting otherwise is acting disrespectfully to our global game, and does not speak for the English FA."


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