KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: England and Spain face a delicate decision over whether to prioritise bids to host future finals of the World Cup or the European Championship.

The four British home nations plus the Irish Republic are considering a bid to host the 2030 World Cup. A joint bid from Spain and Portugal is also on the cards.

However Aleksander Ceferin, president of European federation UEFA, threw a spanner in those plans by revealing that his executive committee had decided to invite initial applications in hosting both Euro 2028 and 2032.

Ceferin said: “Expressions of interest have have to be at UEFA in March and then we will see how many bids we receive and decide the timeline with a decision in September 2023.”

Intriguingly, that is one year before FIFA decides who should host the 2030 World Cup. Hence both England plus its partners and Spain/Portugal will risk undermining or scrapping their own World Cup bid by pursuing the 2028 or 2032 Euro.

Ceferin said Euro bidders must decide whether to pursue 2028 or 2032 but not both.

Double bidding has been a nightmare for international football. Global federation FIFA collapsed into the worst corruption scandal in its history in running simultaneous bidding for the World Cup in 2018 and 2022.

FIFA took that dire step with an eye on securing long-term revenues and UEFA is thinking the same, particularly in helping the European game cope with the effects of the pandemic.

A statement said: “The [double bidding] move seeks to help consolidate long term football and financial planning for the European national associations by offering clearer prospects to partners and rights holders.”

Other issues . . .

UEFA’s executive committee, meeting online, decided to:

* launch a ‘football sustainability 2030’ strategy;

* prepare a €2m European football recovery plan;

* review proposals for a ‘new’ financial fair play system;

* appointed Portugal to host the finals of the Women’s Futsal EURO 2022 next March and Latvia to host the 2021-22 Futsal Champions League finals.