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UK and Republic of Ireland pull out of 2030 World Cup race but confirm Euro 2028 bid

13:27 GMT+3 07/02/2022
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The five home football associations are joining forces in an attempt to stage the European Championships

The United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland have pulled out of the race to host the 2030 World Cup while confirming plans to submit an official bid for Euro 2028 rights.

The FIFA council are set to examine proposals for 2030 World Cup hosting duties at a meeting of the congress on March 31, which will see all 211 members cast votes.

England only received two votes when bidding for the 2018 tournament in 2010, and have decided against submitting a fresh offer in favour of joining forces with the other three UK nations and the ROI to stage the European Championship in six years time.

What has been said?

The Football Association of Ireland have released an official statement confirming the news, which reads: "Following an extensive feasibility study, which assessed the potential opportunities in international football, the football associations of the Republic of Ireland, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have agreed to focus on a bid to host UEFA EURO 2028, the third-largest sports event in the world. 

"The feasibility study included an analysis of the economic impact, the political football landscape and likely costs of hosting major international tournaments. On balance, the five associations have decided to focus solely on an official bid to host UEFA EURO 2028, and have agreed not to bid for the 2030 FIFA World Cup.

"Hosting a UEFA EURO offers a similar return on investment, with the European tournament carrying a far lower delivery cost and the potential of the benefits being realised sooner."

Will Euro 2028 head to the UK and ROI?

England hosted eight Euro 2020 games at Wembley last summer, including the semi-finals and final which the Three Lions lost on penalties against Italy.

The final was marred by crowd violence and a subsequent FA report concluded that fatalities were only avoided due to "near misses", but it is unclear whether the incident will count against the home nations' 2028 bid.

Scotland also staged four matches at Hampden Park and another four were originally due to be played at Dublin's Aviva Stadium until they had to be moved due to Covid-19 regulations.

Ireland, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales must confirm their interest in a joint bid for Euro 2028 by March 23 with all official bidders then set to be confirmed on April 5.

UEFA, who are considering expanding the size of the European Championships to 32 teams, will announce the tournament hosts in September.

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