British government to put £2.8m into 2030 Fifa World Cup bid
Soccer - 02 Mar 2021
The British government is set to pledge £2.8 million ($3.88 million) towards a joint bid by England, Scotland, Wales and both Northern and the Republic of Ireland to host soccer’s 2030 Fifa World Cup.
In the new budget, to be announced tomorrow, the sum has reportedly been promised to the soccer associations of those countries to assist with the bid, as a sign the government is throwing its weight behind the submission.
Prime minister Boris Johnson, in an interview with UK media yesterday, said: “We are very keen to bring football home in 2030… It’s the home of football, it’s the right time.
“We want to see a bonanza of football in the years ahead.”
In a joint statement following Johnson’s interview, the associations of the Home Nations and Ireland said: “The football associations and government partners of the UK and Ireland are delighted that the UK government has committed to support a bid for the 2030 Fifa World Cup.”
They added: “The FAs will continue to undertake feasibility work to assess the viability of a bid before Fifa formally opens the process in 2022.
"Staging a Fifa World Cup would provide an incredible opportunity to deliver tangible benefits for our nations.”
The soccer associations of the five nations have been in discussions since 2018 regarding the possibility of a joint bid. In 2019, representatives met to draw up a shortlist of potential stadia that might feature.
The UK has only hosted the World Cup once, in 1966, and failed with bids to stage the tournaments of both 2006 and 2018.
The government will hope a 2030 bid progresses better than the one for the 2018 event - that effort cost £19 million, only for the bid to be knocked out in the first round of Fifa voting, having secured only two votes from the governing body’s executive committee.
UK Sport, which helps advise the British government on which tournament bids to support, said in 2018 that Britain hosting the 2030 World Cup would be a “crowning achievement.”
The Fifa council agreed in 2019 on a bidding timeline for the 2030 edition, with the bidding process to be launched in the second quarter of 2022, and the tournament awarded at the Fifa congress in 2024.
The race to host the 2030 Fifa World Cup is shaping up to be an extremely competitive one, with a proposed four-way offer from Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Serbia, and a four-way one from Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Paraguay being planned, as well as interest from China and Spain, Portugal and Morocco in a joint submission.
However, the UK will have have several opportunities to showcase its ability to host a World Cup as it will stage several major soccer events before 2024, beginning with seven games at this year’s European Championships, including both semi-finals and the final, and the 2022 Uefa Women’s Euros.
In club soccer, meanwhile, London's Wembley Stadium will host the 2023 Uefa Champions League final, the showpiece in European soccer’s premier club competition.
The 48-team 2026 World Cup will be the first to be hosted in three countries - USA, Mexico and Canada - and Fifa president Gianni Infantino has refused to rule out introducing a new hosting structure for the 2030 edition.
The next World Cup will take place in Qatar, in November and December 2022.