England preparing bid to host 2030 World Cup, FA confirms

UK government has said it will support a joint bid led by England

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Gareth Southgate said England's performance at the World Cup made millions of people happy

The FA is preparing a bid for England to host the 2030 World Cup.

Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay will be bidding jointly for 2030 and Morocco have also said they will bid, while a joint proposal with Tunisia and Algeria is an option.

If England's bid is successful, it would be the first World Cup in the country since 1966 and the first major tournament for 34 years.

FA chairman Greg Clarke said: "Last month the English FA board agreed to conduct feasibility work into the possibility of putting itself forward to be UEFA's potential candidate to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup.

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

Kieran Trippier celebrates after his freekick puts England ahead in Moscow
Image: Kieran Trippier (right) was one of England's standout players at this year's World Cup

One option is for a joint bid with the other home nations, while the UK government has said it will support a joint bid led by England.

Any bid would need to secure the nomination of UEFA and the support of a majority of FIFA's 211 member nations.

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A final decision on whether to bid will be made next year.

Irish FA in support

The Irish FA has told Sky Sports News it would be "supportive of any bid that would bring the FIFA World Cup to Northern Ireland”.

It is understood issues with a joint home nations bid include UEFA being unlikely to allow all four nations to qualify automatically.

There would also be a requirement for a 30,000-capacity stadium in Northern Ireland.

But Sky Sports News understands senior IFA officials are relaxed given this is a World Cup that is 12 years away. They are excited by the prospect of World Cup football in Northern Ireland and would speak to FIFA to find solutions.

Linking up with the Gaelic Atheltic Association (GAA) is one possibility they could explore - with Casement Park, a GAA venue in Belfast, expected to undergo redevelopment to take its capacity to over 34,000.

Ulster GAA secretary Brian McAvoy has previously been supportive of any IFA bid to host World Cup football. Temporary seating could also be looked at.

England bid to host the 2018 World Cup, where they reached the semi-finals this summer, but were beaten by Russia.

The success of England's performances captured the nation, with 30,000 people gathering in Hyde Park to watch their defeat to Croatia in the last four. The game attracted more than 26m TV viewers.

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The 2030 tournament is expected to be the same format as the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico, which will see 48 teams involved and 80 games in total.

The FA has also distanced itself from suggestions that it should host the 2022 World Cup in the unlikely event that Qatar loses the right to host the tournament.

England players have reconnected with the nation's fans, Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville has said
Image: England players have reconnected with the nation's fans, Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville has said

Former FA chairman Lord Triesman said on Sunday FIFA should reconsider England if Qatar has broken bidding rules.

Clarke added: "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 among the 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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