UK and Ireland's joint 2030 World Cup bid looks dead in the water ....

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Oct 8, 2004
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The United Kingdom's joint World Cup 2030 bid with the Republic of Ireland is set to be rejected by UEFA.

European football's governing body will try to encourage the UK and Ireland to focus instead on Euro 2028, which UEFA will support if the home nations agree to give up on the World Cup.

Sources in the Irish government and Uefa have revealed a Spain-Portugal bid on behalf of Europe has the 'only realistic chance of winning at FIFA'.

The plan to hold Euro 2028 in the UK and Ireland has considerable merit for Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

However it is not known what England's response would be, as the lead nation in the World Cup bidding process and architects of the plan to bring the tournament to these islands 64 years after the FA last hosted it.

It is likely the FA would not see another Euros co-hosted by England as having anything like the prestige of a World Cup, especially given the support it has already received from the likes of Boris Johnson.

But UEFA hope by giving certainty now to the nations battling for the World Cup nomination that they will prevent a lengthy and expensive process which will waste valuable time and resources.

The UK and Irish bid is undergoing a feasibility study, along with stakeholder partners including both countries' governments.

In recent days, though, word has reached Ireland's Department of Sport that 'the UK and Ireland bid was effectively over before it began', with Spain and Portugal enjoying popular support at UEFA HQ.

'It's accepted that this isn't going to happen and the sooner that message is delivered, the better,' said an insider.

 

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