The UK and Republic of Ireland football associations have agreed not to bid for the 2030 World Cup. They will instead focus on a joint bid to host Euro 2028. The decision comes after the UK government committed £2.8m to a feasibility study into the bid.
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee chair Julian Knight had previously described the prospective World Cup bid as a “giant, expensive vanity project”. The feasibility study included an analysis of the economic impact, the political football landscape and the likely costs of hosting major international tournaments. Following the study, the football associations of the Republic of Ireland, England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland will focus on an official bid to host Uefa Euro 2028.
A statement said: “Hosting a Uefa Euro offers a similar return on investment, with the European tournament carrying a far lower delivery cost and the potential of the benefits being realised sooner. “It would be an honour and a privilege to collectively host Euro 2028 and to welcome all of Europe. “It would also be a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the true impact of hosting a world-class football tournament by driving positive change and leaving a lasting legacy across our communities.”
The UK government had previously said it would invest £550m in grassroots football if the 2030 bid was successful, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hoping to “transform lives with a legacy to match the 2012 Olympics”.