The British and Irish soccer associations look set to press ahead with plans to jointly bid to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup, according to Noel Mooney, the General Manager of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI).
English soccer’s Football Association (FA), which is leading the potential bid, said in August last year that it would be undertaking detailed research into the feasibility of hosting the sport’s flagship international tournament.
According to the Times, the FA presented the findings of that study to the other associations involved in the proposal ahead of Saturday’s draw for the 2020 UEFA European Championship, with the results seemingly impressing onlookers.
“The feasibility study is positive and there’s a sense that the right thing to do is go forward,” Mooney told the the Times.
“This bid is out on the front foot and very well led by the guys from the English FA who gave a very strong presentation.
“It’s a chance to get a really credible bid and hopefully win it. I’d be very surprised if there’s not a very credible bid from Great Britain and Ireland.”
Should the home nations launch a formal bid to host the 2030 World Cup they would likely face stiff competition, with a number of countries so far signalling their intent to stage the event.
Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile have confirmed that they will team up to bid for the tournament, while it was revealed in September that Ecuador, Colombia and Peru could form a second South American effort.
In Europe, the prime ministers of Bulgaria, Greece and Romania and the president of Serbia have announced plans to make a joint bid. Spain and Portugal are also carrying out in-depth analysis into what could be a third bid from Europe.
In addition, China has been linked with bidding for the 2030 World Cup as a trial run ahead of a further bid to stage the 2034 edition.
A British and Irish bid has already been given the backing of UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin, who said in 2018 that it was “about time” the World Cup returned to England for the first time since 1966.
“I think it would be a very wise idea,” Ceferin said in August last year. “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.”
FIFA, soccer’s global governing body, announced earlier this year that the bidding process for the 2030 World Cup will be launched in 2022, with a host to be confirmed in 2024.