2030 World Cup: UK and Ireland urged to drop ‘vanity’ bid in favour of ‘achievable’ Euro 2028

·1-min read
 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

A UK and Ireland bid for the 2030 World Cup is doomed to fail, a leading parliamentary figure has stated amid reports of a change of tack from associations.

DCMS committee chair Julian Knight MP believes going up against a South America’s 100th anniversary bid and the Spanish-Portuguese joint bid would prove a “giant, expensive vanity project”.

The British Isles has seen only one World Cup played out on its soil, when England hosted and won the 1966 tournament. A 2018 English bid was comfortably defeated in a vote held by FIFA bosses, who opted for Russia.

Dublin, Glasgow and London won bids to host matches at the pan-continental Euro 2020 tournament, before the coronavirus pandemic led to matches in Ireland being moved with Wembley’s final marred by fan violence.

A report in The Times has outlined an imminent switch from the 2030 plan to bidding for the European Championship in 2028, which will be UEFA’s first 32-team tournament and should offer less political obstruction than a World Cup proposal.

Mr Knight has backed the move despite heavy financial support promised by the Government for a World Cup bid, to the tune of £11million.

"Everyone knows that the furore over a World Cup bid is a giant, expensive vanity project," he told the PA news agency.

"It's sad as we are ideally suited to hosting a tournament, but we have huge reputation problems in the international game.

"So it's best to aim our sights at something achievable, drop the 'we are the home of football' malarkey, reform our domestic game and focus on winning and delivering a really great Euros."

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