World Cup 2030: British and Irish federations to discuss potential bid

Harry Kane
England reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2018

A potential British and Irish bid for staging the 2030 World Cup is to be discussed at a meeting on Friday.

The national football associations of England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland will meet in Rome after the annual Uefa congress in the Italian capital.

The meeting is set to include an evaluation of potential venues to put forward if the bid proceeds.

World Cups from 2026 onwards will be contested by 48 teams.

The 2026 event, to be staged in the United States, Canada and Mexico, is set to take place at 16 different venues and the British and Irish associations will only look at grounds with a minimum of 40,000 seats.

There is also a desire to maximise the geographical spread of the tournament - something that could see only two or a maximum of three stadiums in London.

However, Fifa technical specifications for World Cup venues are demanding and the five associations are aware that even updated, modern venues such as Anfield and Old Trafford - and even the new White Hart Lane - would not reach the required standard at present.

That is because grounds need to provide sufficient run-off space for players and adequate areas for photographers.

Friday's meeting is also expected to discuss efforts to gain backing from the British and Irish governments - a vital element for all prospective bids. There is also a desire for the British Government to support building a new venue in Belfast.

No final decision on whether to proceed with the joint bid is expected to be taken before the spring of 2020 at the earliest and the Rome talks are part of a wide-ranging feasibility study.

The 1966 World Cup was staged in England, while London, Glasgow and Dublin are among the cities that will host matches at the 2020 European Championship.