FA CHIEFS are poised to formally signal the end of the planned 2030 World Cup bid today – to concentrate on attempting to stage Euro 2028.
A meeting of the ruling Wembley Board – the first under new chair Debbie Hewitt – is expected to ratify the change of strategy in the wake of warning from Uefa that a World Cup bid would be dead in the water.
PM Boris Johnson publicly backed the idea of an England-led British isles bid to host the 2030 tournament.
The FA commissioned a ‘feasibility study’ into the proposals, while Chancellor Rishi Sunak promised £11million to help fund the project.
Potential candidates for 2030 have until the end of March to submit their formal notice of intention to bid for the tournament.
But the proposed five nation bid faces strong opposition within Europe from a mooted joint bid by Spain and Portugal, which is thought to have more likelihood of success by the Uefa high command.
Fifa president Gianni Infantino was also thought to be backing a South American bid involving Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, which would see the 100th anniversary of the inaugural competition marked by a second final in Montevideo’s Estadio Centenario.
And there is still the prospect of a bid from Asia – whether the Middle East or China.
The FA, badly burned by the humiliating failures of its bids to host the tournament in 2006 and 2018, is reluctant to commit any significant funds to a doomed cause.
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Meanwhile, senior Uefa figures have told the FA that they would be the front-runners – and have their path eased – if they instead led a bid for Euro 2028.
That tournament is expected to be increased from the current 24-team format to involve 32 sides.
Matches would be likely in England, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland, with training camps in Northern Ireland, to ensure all five British Isles nations were involved.
Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin is a huge fan of Wembley in particular and went out of his way recently to confirm there would be no further ramifications or repercussions over the chaos-scarred Euro 2020 final fiasco.
Ceferin is believed to be one of the strongest voices in favour of supporting any proposed five-nation bid led by the FA.
Uefa declared last month that campaigns for the 2028 and 2032 tournaments would be run simultaneously.
Bids have to be lodged by the end of March but campaigns can only apply to host one of the two events and not both.
If the FA Board does back the change of plan, switching to a Euros bid would still have to be signed off by the other British Isles FAs and their respective governments.
But the FA could always go it alone and bid to be the sole host if the other nations are not on board, while any bid not involving England would be certain of expensive failure.
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By: Martin Lipton
Title: World Cup 2030 plans to be shelved by FA today and focus on Euro 2028 bid which would be hosted in Britain and Ireland
Sourced From: www.thesun.co.uk/sport/17378177/world-cup-2030-fa-euro-2028-bid-britain-ireland/
Published Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 22:30:00 +0000