In the build up to Rishi Sunak’s budget announcements tomorrow (March 3), Boris Johnson has announced that he intends to put the UK forward as the potential host of the 2030 UEFA World Cup. However, this sum is dwarfed by the £19million that was piled into the doomed campaign for the 2018 tournament — which was ultimately hosted by Russia after the UK was knocked out in the first round of voting.
“We are very keen to bring football home in 2030,” Johnson told The Sun. “I do think it’s the right place. It’s the home of football, it’s the right time. It will be an absolutely wonderful thing for the country. We are hosting the Euros. We are hosting the semis and the final. If they want any other matches that they want hosted, we’re certainly on for that but at the moment that’s where we are with UEFA.”
One factor that could work in the UK’s favour is that the voting rules for FIFA’s World Cup have changed somewhat since last time. The FA had been criticised for its ties to controversial figures like former Concacaf president Jack Warner and for naming Qatar as the host of the 2022 tournament.
In related football news, Boris has also offered the UK’s resources to host additional Euro 2020 matches after news broke last week that if all went to plan the UK would be lifting all lockdown restrictions by the end of June. The Euros were postponed by a year due to the pandemic and are now set to take place from June 11 to July 11 across London, Glasgow, Dublin, Bilbao, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Munich, Rome, St Petersburg, Bucharest, Budapest, and Baku.
The FA said in a statement: “UEFA is committed to holding UEFA EURO 2020 across 12 European cities, according to the schedule agreed last summer. There are no other plans being pursued. The FA’s focus remains on delivering the seven games at Wembley inclusive of both semi-finals and the showpiece final and welcome all efforts being made by government to ensure as many fans can attend.”