A joint home nations bid for the 2030 World Cup has been given full backing by Uefa’s president, Aleksander Ceferin, who said it was “about time” the tournament returned to England for the first time since 1966.
The Football Association is understood to have promised its Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland counterparts that it will consult with them before making any bid.
The FA chairman, Greg Clarke, has been touring some of the voting nations and a year-long feasibility study has begun with no decision to be made until after that. But such a full and public endorsement of a possible bid by Ceferin, the most powerful man in international football in Europe, will be a huge boost.
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“I think it would be a very wise idea,” he said. “The infrastructure in the UK is very good and in a way if more countries bid there is more chance to win. I think after all these years it’s time for that part of Europe to get the World Cup. I don’t doubt the quality of the bid.”
The Slovenian administrator said he would discourage more than one bid from Europe for fear it would divide the continent, particularly as a new Fifa transparency rule means the voting process is open, with results displayed immediately on a screen.
“The only thing I will insist is that we have only one European bid,” Ceferin said. “I don’t want Europe to be divided because of a World Cup bid, and if there was more than one it would be divided as the voting is public. I don’t want people to choose between one and another European bidder.”
Any home nations bid would face stiff opposition from a joint bid by Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina, a campaign buoyed by the fact that 2030 marks 100 years since the first World Cup in Uruguay in 1930.
It was also confirmed England is alone in bidding for the 2021 European women’s championship. The FA will submit a bid dossier and have that assessed to make sure technical requirements are satisfied but there will be no vote, with confirmation on 3 December.
Meanwhile Uefa has confirmed VAR will be used in the Champions League from next season. VAR is in the process of advanced testing in English football, where it is used in selected FA Cup and Carabao Cup fixtures. Premier League clubs voted to delay its introduction but it could be used in the top flight next season.
Martha Kelner’s accommodation in Monaco was paid for by Uefa
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