The United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland will make a joint bid to host the 2028 European Championship rather than the 2030 World Cup.
As far back as 2018, the English FA discussed a joint UK-wide bid to host the 2030 World Cup. The British government backed the notion of a bid at that stage. Last year, Boris Johnson also said he was keen on a UK bid with the Republic of Ireland to host the 2030 World Cup.
There were expectations that the treasury would back a bid to the tune of £2.8 million.
However, after feasibility studies by the UK government and the Republic of Ireland, they have instead decided to bid to host Euro 2028 and not try to host the World Cup.
A UK government statement said: “We have a proven reputation for staging world-class sporting events over decades.
“Alongside our ambition to support the growth of football from the grassroots to the highest level, this informed our plan to work with the FAs and governments of the UK and Ireland to examine a potential joint bid for the FIFA World Cup 2030.
“Following a full feasibility study, and in light of the current uncertainty around the future format of the tournament, we accept the conclusion of the five football associations that now is not the moment to proceed with a bid. We remain passionate about bringing a World Cup to the UK and Ireland when the time is right.
“Meanwhile, the UEFA European Championships are one of the biggest global sporting events. Hosting the full tournament would be an exciting opportunity, bringing significant benefits to the whole of the UK and Ireland. That is why we have initiated work to explore the possibility of bidding to host Euro 2028.
“We are looking closely at the outcome of this work and, subject to further discussions, hope to be able to confirm government support for a bid in the coming weeks.”
A statement from the Republic of Ireland’s FA said: “Following an extensive feasibility study, which assessed the potential opportunities in international football, the football associations of the Republic of Ireland, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have agreed to focus on a bid to host UEFA Euro 2028, the third largest sports event in the world.
“The feasibility study included an analysis of the economic impact, the political football landscape and likely costs of hosting major international tournaments. On balance, the five associations have decided to focus solely on an official bid to host UEFA Euro 2028, and have agreed not to bid for the 2030 FIFA World Cup.
“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 UEFA 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…