SPORT: Football
2030 World Cup
the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland withdraw their candidacy for 2030.

The foot­ball asso­ci­a­tions of the Unit­ed King­dom and the Repub­lic of Ire­land have agreed not to bid for the 2030 World Cup.

They will instead focus on a joint bid to host Euro 2028.

The deci­sion comes after the UK gov­ern­ment com­mit­ted £2.8m to a fea­si­bil­i­ty study of the bid.

Dig­i­tal, Cul­ture, Media and Sport (DCMS) com­mit­tee chair­man Julian Knight pre­vi­ous­ly described the poten­tial World Cup bid as a “giant, expen­sive van­i­ty project”.

On Mon­day he said: “It is unac­cept­able that £2.8 mil­lion of tax­pay­ers’ mon­ey has been wast­ed on a pipe dream which was clear­ly doomed from the start. Foot­ball in the UK needs to set­tle its rep­u­ta­tion at home before they can go after the biggest tournament.”

The fea­si­bil­i­ty study includ­ed an analy­sis of the eco­nom­ic impact, the polit­i­cal land­scape of foot­ball and the like­ly costs of host­ing major inter­na­tion­al tournaments.

Fol­low­ing the study, the foot­ball asso­ci­a­tions of the Repub­lic of Ire­land, Eng­land, North­ern Ire­land, Wales and Scot­land will focus on an offi­cial bid to host UEFA Euro 2028 .

A state­ment said: “Hold­ing a UEFA Euro offers a sim­i­lar return on invest­ment, with the Euro­pean tour­na­ment result­ing in a much low­er cost of deliv­ery and the poten­tial for prof­its to be real­ized sooner.

“It would be an hon­or and a priv­i­lege to col­lec­tive­ly host Euro 2028 and to wel­come all of Europe.

“It would also be a won­der­ful oppor­tu­ni­ty to demon­strate the true impact of host­ing a world-class foot­ball tour­na­ment in dri­ving pos­i­tive change and leav­ing a last­ing lega­cy in our communities.”

The UK gov­ern­ment had pre­vi­ous­ly said it would invest £550million in grass­roots foot­ball if the 2030 bid was suc­cess­ful, with Prime Min­is­ter Boris John­son hop­ing to “trans­form lives with a lega­cy to match the 2012 Olympics”.

Eng­land failed with a bid — led by for­mer cap­tain David Beck­ham, Prince William and for­mer Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron — to host the 2018 World Cup, which was held in Russia.

The UK gov­ern­ment said it backed the five foot­ball asso­ci­a­tions’ deci­sion and added it remained “pas­sion­ate about bring­ing a World Cup to the UK and Ire­land when the time comes”.

Mark Bulling­ham, the Eng­lish FA’s chief exec­u­tive, iden­ti­fied both offers as “bril­liant” oppor­tu­ni­ties but said after assess­ing “winnabil­i­ty” it was decid­ed to go for Euro 2028.

He added there was also ‘uncer­tain­ty’ around future World Cups — foot­bal­l’s world gov­ern­ing body Fifa has offered to stage the tour­na­ment every two years under a revamped schedule .

FA of Wales chair­man Stephen Williams also said the impact of a suc­cess­ful bid for Wales would be “immea­sur­able” and leave a “last­ing legacy”.

All asso­ci­a­tions say they will con­tin­ue to “col­lab­o­rate” with gov­ern­ment part­ners on next steps.

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