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‘I would back UK and Ireland bid for 2030 World Cup’, says Theresa May

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A joint bid from the UK and Ireland to host the 2030 World Cup would receive the “full support” of government, Theresa May has announced.

The Football Associations of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland are looking at a joint bid, the PM said.

In 2020, London and Glasgow will host 11 games in the UEFA European Championships, while Wembley will host the semi-final and final.

Following that experience, the government said it believed that “if the football associations decide to bid, we would be a strong contender to go on and welcome the whole football world in 2030 by hosting the FIFA World Cup”.

Mrs May noted the “excitement of this Summer’s World Cup”, adding: “The decision on whether to bid is, of course, for the football associations to make.

“But if they decide to go forward, they can count on this government’s full support.”

England supporters and festival goers watch England v Panama during the Isle of Wight festival at Seaclose Park, Newport.
Picture by: David Jensen/PA Wire/PA Images
Image:
England supporters watching England versus Panama this summer

The idea of bidding for the 2030 tournament was suggested back in June by Sky News’ political editor, Faisal Islam.

He wrote: “It will be the 100th anniversary of the World Cup in 2030.

“All the economic analyses show that hosting a World Cup across a nation is great for the economy and much better than a highly concentrated Olympics.

“The stadiums are already here. What better way to mark the centenary than to bring football home to England to celebrate?”

Labour’s shadow secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, Tom Watson, said he announced in July that any future Labour government would back such a bid.

“I’m delighted that the prime minister has followed Labour’s lead and is willing to back a bid,” he said.

“This summer’s World Cup and the performance of England inspired the nation.

“In 2030, it’s time for football to come home.”

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