UK government backs joint UK and Ireland 2030 World Cup bid

The UK government has said it would offer its full support to a joint bid from the UK and Ireland to host the 2030 World Cup.

“Following the excitement of this summer’s World Cup, the English FA are working together with the FAs of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland to explore whether there could be a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup,” UK prime minister Theresa May said on the eve of the Conservative party conference in Birmingham.

“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 last bid to host the 2018 World Cup, when it received just two votes from Fifa’s 22-member executive committee in December 2010. The 2018 and 2022 competitions were controversially awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively.

It is thought a joint bid with Ireland could win votes from countries that may not usually support the UK associations, especially those who hold a grudge about England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland having a separate status within Fifa.