Ireland and UK in joint bid to host 2030 Fifa World Cup

Boris Johnson says will work with Irish to secure one of world’s biggest sport tournaments

Ireland and the UK are to make a joint bid to host the 2030 Fifa World Cup, a Government spokesman has confirmed.

In a joint statement, the five football associations of Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales said that they were delighted to support a prospective bid for the tournament.

The Government spokesman said that the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media would assess the viability of a bid for the tournament with the UK.

“We look forward to further extensive engagement and collaboration as we seek to refine our hosting proposals in the coming months,” said the spokesman for Taoiseach Micheál Martin.

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Plans to make a bid for the tournament were first disclosed in an interview given by the British prime minister Boris Johnson to the Sun newspaper published on Monday night.

He said UK chancellor Rishi Sunak would commit £2.5 million (€3.2 million) in the British budget on Wednesday to fund the UK and Ireland's joint pitch to host the tournament.

“We are very, very keen to bring football home in 2030. I do think it’s the right place,” he said. “It’s the home of football, it’s the right time. It will be an absolutely wonderful thing for the country.”

The five football associations said in their statement that they would continue to undertake feasibility work to assess the viability of a bid before Fifa, world football’s governing body, formally opens the process for bids next year.

"Staging a Fifa World Cup would provide an incredible opportunity to deliver tangible benefits for our nations," said the joint statement by the Football Association of Ireland, Northern Ireland's Irish Football Association, the English FA, the Football Association of Wales and the Scottish FA.

“If a decision is made to bid for the event, we look forward to presenting our hosting proposals to Fifa and the wider global football community.”

The World Cup was last hosted in England in 1966, when it won the tournament.

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell is The Irish Times’s Public Affairs Editor and former Washington correspondent