THE United Kingdom’s joint bid with the Republic of Ireland to host the World Cup Finals in 2030 is set to be rejected by UEFA.

European football’s governing body will try to encourage the UK and Ireland to focus instead on Euro 2028, which UEFA will support if the home nations agree to drop interest in the global competition.

Sources have revealed a Spain-Portugal bid on behalf of Europe has the “only realistic chance of winning at FIFA”.

The UK’s plan to hold Euro 2028 has obvious merit for the SFA and the Welsh, Irish and Republic of Ireland associations, but it is not known what England’s response would be, as the lead nation in the World Cup bidding process and architects of the plan to bring the tournament to these islands for the first time since 1966 when it was hosted by the English FA.

HAMPDEN HEROES…Jack Hendry, Craig Gordon and Callum McGregor celebrate after the World Cup qualifying win over Israel.

Discussions with the associations behind the Spain-Portugal move are at an early stage and there is no time schedule for a final decision.

In recent days, has reached Ireland’s Department of Sport that “the UK and Ireland bid was effectively over before it began,” according to a report in the Daily Mail.

“It’s accepted that this isn’t going to happen and the sooner that message is delivered, the better,” said a newspaper insider.

Currently, the Irish and UK bid is undergoing a feasibility study, but it appears their hopes will be scuppered.

UEFA and the British and Irish national associations are not expected to accept the bidding process is over because any decision on hosting proposals must be ratified by UEFA’s Executive Committee and its 55 member federations.


About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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