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Micheál Martin welcomes potent...
Soccer

Micheál Martin welcomes potential World Cup bid as "something to look forward to"

Phil Egan
Phil Egan

11:43 2 Mar 2021

Taoiseach Micheál Martin says the Government hopes to add value to a bid to host part of the 2030 FIFA World Cup.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed on Monday that his government will provide funding to start the process of launching a potential bid for the tournament in 2030.

The bid would involve the FAI, English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish football associations.

"The whole idea of Ireland as a location for major events is something successive governments have been pushing for," Martin said.

"It's early days, but we'll certainly do whatever we can to add value to that proposition.

"I think sports fans will be particularly happy with that, and it would be something to look forward to."

The Minister of State for Sport Jack Chambers told Newstalk that the bid could be officially tabled next year.

"The two islands can collectively can present our credentials to the globe," he said.

"I know the Irish Government will engage in a very positive way with the other nations in putting the best bid forward and we look forward to continuing the feasibility work through 2021 which will hopefully enable us to put forward a bid in 2022 with the other nations."

A joint bid from Chile, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay is also expected, while Spain, Portugal and Morocco are also considering a joint bid.

Fifa will formally open the process in 2022 and from the 2026 World Cup onwards, the tournament will be made up of 48 teams.

The 2030 tournament would mark the centenary of the first World Cup which was held in Uruguay.

Jack Chambers added: "The specifics on the capacity requirements for different stadia, that will all be worked through the feasibility work that is ongoing through the different nations and the respective football associations so that work will continue through 2021.

"I think we can present our credentials to the globe and I think we will be a very open, welcoming country for such an important event in 2030."

Dublin is one of 12 cities due to host games at this summer’s rescheduled European Championships but it remains to be seen if UEFA will be able to stage a multi-nation tournament due to coronavirus travel restrictions.

The FAI has welcomed the news: "The football associations and government partners of the UK and Ireland are delighted that the UK government has committed to support a prospective five association bid for the 2030 FIFA World Cup.

"We will continue to undertake feasibility work to assess the viability of a bid before FIFA formally open the process in 2022.

"Staging a FIFA World Cup would provide an incredible opportunity to deliver tangible benefits for our nations.

"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."

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