The general manager of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) has talked up a potential joint British and Irish bid to host the 2030 World Cup.
Speaking to The Times, Noel Mooney said he would be “very surprised if there’s not a very credible bid from Great Britain and Ireland” for the tournament.
Mooney highlighted a “positive” feasibility study, which has been carried out to gauge the potential of the event, and said that football officials felt “that the right thing to do is go forward.”
“This bid is out on the front foot and very well led by the guys from the English FA who gave a very strong presentation” to the other associations before the draw for Euro 2020 in Bucharest, Mooney said.
The Times reports a joint British and Irish bid would see matches played in several English cities as well in Cardiff, Glasgow and Dublin. The next stage is to receive backing from the British and Irish governments.
A potential UK and Irish bid has already been talked up by UEFA president, Alexander Ceferin, who was quoted by the Guardian last year as saying it was “about time” the World Cup returned to England which last hosted the tournament in 1966.
However, any bid is likely to come up against stiff opposition. The president of Chile, Sebastian Pinera, stated in February that he had agreed with the presidents of Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay to submit a joint bid.
Pedro Sanchez, the prime minister of Spain, has also spoken about a joint Spanish, Portuguese and Moroccan bid which would see the World Cup simultaneously staged on two continents for the first time.