English soccer’s Football Association (FA) is considering making a bid for England to host the 2030 Fifa World Cup, according to FA chairman Greg Clarke.
Speculation has been rife in recent weeks that England might look at putting forward a proposal for the 2030 tournament, having lost out in controversial circumstances in 2010 for the right to host this year’s competition amid claims of corruption.
Now, Clarke has said that the nation’s soccer governing body has agreed to work to decide whether a bid is practical.
He said in a statement: “Last month the English FA board agreed to conduct feasibility work into the possibility of putting itself forward to be Uefa’s potential candidate to host the 2030 Fifa World Cup. This work will take place during the new season and no decision will be made until 2019.”
England last hosted the World Cup in 1966, before hosting the European Championships 30 years later. In two years’ time, Wembley will host seven games during Euro 2020, with the tournament being spread around Europe for the first time.
Should England launch a bid, they would be doing so in competition with a joint bid from Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, who are looking to mark the World Cup’s centenary year with a return to Uruguay, where the first tournament was staged in 1930.
Despite this, England have not been put off, with Fifa vice-president and former FA vice chairman David Gill insisting that England should have “great confidence” in submitting any bid.
Another option being explored is that of a joint bid between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with the UK government having suggested that it would support such a proposal.
England’s failed bid for the 2018 competition that was ultimately hosted by Russia had been fronted by former captain David Beckham, Prince William and then-prime minister David Cameron. The result angered England’s bid team, with frustration over the lack of transparency in the bidding process.
However, the procedure that led to the United States, Mexico and Canada winning the right to co-host the 2026 tournament is said to have quashed fears of a repeat – the FA’s 2018 bid won just two votes. For the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, only members of Fifa’s executive committee was eligible to cast a vote. That was changed in the wake of the corruption scandal to hit Fifa, with all eligible 211 of Fifa’s member nations given a vote.