The UK and Ireland are considering a World Cup 2030 bid - here's what you need to know

The UK and Ireland are mulling over a 2030 World Cup bid (Getty Images)The UK and Ireland are mulling over a 2030 World Cup bid (Getty Images)
The UK and Ireland are mulling over a 2030 World Cup bid (Getty Images)

On March 2 Boris Johnson became the latest figure to throw their weight behind a UK and Ireland joint World Cup bid.

Boris Johnson told The Sun: “We are very, very keen to bring football home in 2030. I do think it’s the right place.

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“It’s the home of football, it’s the right time. It will be an absolutely wonderful thing for the country.”

Ireland’s deputy premier Leo Varadkar also showed support, tweeting: “Great to see this coming together. Something for us to work towards together. Would be a real festival of football.”

But how likely is a World Cup co-hosted by Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland?

Will there definitely be a bid? 


At this stage a look into the feasability of hosting a tournament is underway.

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The formal bidding process gets underway next year. If the bid goes ahead the UK government have pledged £2.8m towards a potential bid.

When is a host decided? 

The process begins in 2022 with a decision on the host nation or nations to be taken by FIFA in 2024.

What have the football associations said?

A joint statement released by the FA and the football associations of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland on Monday evening read: “The football associations and Government partners of the UK and Ireland are delighted that the UK Government has committed to support a prospective five-association bid for the 2030 FIFA World Cup.

“We will continue to undertake feasibility work to assess the viability of a bid before FIFA formally open the process in 2022.

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“Staging a FIFA World Cup would provide an incredible opportunity to deliver tangible benefits for our nations.

“If a decision is made to bid for the event, we look forward to presenting our hosting proposals to FIFA and the wider global football community.”

The English Football Association said on Twitter that it welcomed “the Government’s pledge of £2.8million towards a potential bid” for the 2030 World Cup.

Who else is considering a bid? 

Joint bids appear to be the order of the day. One is expected from South American countries including Uruguay, which wants to mark the centenary of the inaugural tournament there.

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China is also a possible bidder while Spain, Portugal and Morocco could team up.

Only one bid from UEFA countries would be allowed to go forward.

Do the home nations have a good chance? 

Recent bids have not been encouraging. England failed with attempts to host the 2006 and 2018 tournaments.

With the latter, optimism gave way to humiliation when it was revealed England’s bid, which was fronted by David Beckham, Prince William and David Cameron, received just two of 22 votes.

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With the World Cup set to mark its centenary it could be appealing to have the tournament hosted in the birthplace of football.

Which stadiums could be chosen?

A joint bid has been chosen as World Cups from 2026 onwards will be contested by 48 teams rather than 32, making hosting a significant undertaking.

The debate over which stadiums host World Cup fixtures would likely be a fierce one.

The 2026 World Cup hosted by Canada, the United States and Mexico has seen 41 cities bid to host World Cup games. Thus far this has been narrowed down to 23 cities, with the final number of host stadiums to be cut to 16.

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Wembley Stadium would likely be favoured for a World Cup final, while the likes of Old Trafford, Anfield, the Emirates Stadium and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium could be popular with tournament organisers.

Hampden Park, Ibrox, Parkhead and Murrayfield would in all likelihood be put forward by the Scottish FA in a bidding process, due to their size and history. Pittodrie, Easter Road and Tynecastle Park may have an outside chance of hosting group stage fixtures.

In Northern Ireland the 22,000 capacity Windsor Stadium would come under consideration, while in Wales the Principality Stadium would be a frontrunner to feature.

Ireland’s Minister of State for Sport Jack Chambers has said the Irish government will embrace a bid, saying that GAA stadiums such as Croke Park and Pairc Ui Chaoimh could be included in a bid. The Aviva Stadium in Dublin would also likely feature in any bid.