KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTING —- The Football Association is considering stepping up to the World Cup plate for UEFA by bidding to host the World Cup finals in 2030.

If world federation FIFA maintains its rotation system for host awards then Europe, South America and Africa are all eligible to compete for the centenary finals. Already inaugural 1930 host Uruguay has partnered with Argentina and Paraguay to develop a bid of their own.

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The finals would involve 48 teams, after the example of 2026 in the United States, Canada and Mexico so the hosting options mean a small number of highly-developed single countries or joint stagings.

Last year Aleksander Ceferin, the president of European federation UEFA, stated unequivocally that 2030 was “Europe’s turn” since it would not have hosted the world game’s greatest event since Russia last month – a gap of 12 years.

History

The Uruguayans believe they have a strong case because of the centenary ‘label’ but England – or a combined United Kingdom bid also involving Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – could claim historic honours as the home of the modern game.

Euro 96 was the last major tournament staged in the United Kingdom when host England reached the semi-finals. England had previously staged in the 1966 World Cup.¬† Wembley will host seven games, including the semi-finals and final, at Euro 2020, and the FA has bid to host the European Women’s Championship in 2021.

The latest development was set out by Greg Clarke, chairman of the Football Association, in saying the board has agreed to start work to see if a bid were  feasible.

He said: “This work will take place during the new season and no decision will be made until 2019.”

England launched a short-lived bid for the 1998 finals but withdrew after an intra-UEFA deal over the hosting of Euro 96. It then bid in vain for 2006 against Germany and for 2018 when a campaign led by David Beckham, Prince William and the then Prime Minister David Cameron gained a humiliating mere two votes from the FIFA executive committee.

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