UK MPs to debate UK-Ireland joint bid for 2030 World Cup after UEFA blowout


The likely doomed UK-Ireland bid for the 2030 FIFA World Cup will be discussed tomorrow with MPs in the UK Parliament, by heads of sport and broadcast.

MEPs from all parties will consider the cost of € 3.3million to fund a feasibility study to be borne by UK taxpayers for the candidacy co-hosted by England, Ireland, Scotland, Country of Wales and Northern Ireland.

The House of Commons meeting of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport All-Party Committee (DCMS) takes place as the Irish Examiner revealed on Saturday that UEFA favors Spain-Portugal as the preferred option for move forward with a Fifa tender vote in 2024.

It is understood that an offer from a home country for Euro 2028 is instead favored by potential brokers in Switzerland, who would fully support such a move – if England and its partners agreed.

UEFA has already made new arrangements in its recently released tender process for Euro in 2028, which allows multi-country bids as long as such a tender was “geographically compact” – unlike in the Euro 2020 tournament of 11 countries.

England have already declared their interest in hosting the European finals in seven years, but it’s unclear how they would react to co-hosting with others.

While losing a World Cup will deal a huge blow to the English FA, for Ireland and their smaller partners such an option would be warmly welcomed.

High-level informal discussions have already taken place between a number of national stakeholders and European football’s governing body, regarding his preference for a Spain-Portugal bid.

A UK and Irish tender on behalf of UEFA is not seen as something that has a realistic chance of success in front of the 211 FIFA members, who will vote on the issue in 2024.

2030 is the next opportunity for a European country to host a World Cup, and he believes the Spain-Portugal bid would be largely favored by world football ahead of an England-led campaign – in part because of the disturbing scenes from the Euro 2020 final at Wembley when thousands of drunken, ticketless fans burst into the stadium.

Sources in the Irish government have already been made aware of the Spain-Portugal plan, and tomorrow’s committee meeting in the House of Commons will determine whether MPs here have received this information as well.

An Irish government insider said: “The World Cup bid is now a very secondary position because UEFA prefers Spain and Portugal, and that word seems to be very precise here.”

UEFA is incredibly sensitive that the situation is not turning into a row, at a time when it is at war with Fifa over the world’s football body’s proposals for a World Cup every two years .

“If England accepted the euro with their other partners, the problem would be resolved peacefully – UEFA will support this process,” a UEFA insider revealed. “Until then, the feasibility situation will continue to evolve and that will be a good thing for the home countries as it prepares them for what is now a likely Euro 2028 bid instead.”

Fans walk along Wembley Way ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 final. Ireland could be part of a Euro 2028 bid if a 2030 World Cup pitch looks unlikely to win the favor of Fifa.

Tomorrow’s panel hearing in London will examine the bidding process from a financial and cost perspective, with witnesses called to include BBC Sport director Barbara Slater and COO of UK Sport, Simon Morton.

The most likely outcome of these hearings is that MPs will support the English FA and its fellow association partners to continue its investigations, which are well advanced.

Despite the Spain-Portugal preferred option for UEFA, the Anglo-Irish group has nothing to lose by staying in the process – apart from the cost of the study, which is sure to be mentioned by some MEPs.

What happens at the select committee tomorrow will be key, if questions are raised about the cost of almost £ 3million and the importance of this issue.

Also during the committee hearing, Fifa will be present and present the tender process to MPs.

One of the questions posed to the English FA’s communications officer was whether a Euro 2028 tournament instead of the World Cup two years later was an “acceptable alternative”.

Although UEFA is not in favor of a large number of countries co-hosting a European championship again, following the logistical and operational nightmares linked to Euro 2020, it has paved the way for multi-party bids. country.

He announced last week the application process for “potential hosts of UEFA Euro 2028”, where he left the door open “in case of more than two joint host associations”.

Any multi-nation co-organization of future euros will be allowed “provided the candidate countries are geographically compact” – a criterion clearly met by a British-Irish candidacy.

UEFA and the English FA did not answer questions about the plan.

The FAI “remains committed to the ongoing feasibility study for a potential bid for the 2030 World Cup.”


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