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Football: UK and Ireland Bid for 2030 FIFA World Cup Withdrawn!

By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw

Following a Government-funded £2.8 million feasibility study, the Football Associations of the England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have decided to withdraw their proposed bid for the 2030 FIFA World Cup and concentrate instead on a joint bid to host the UEFA Euro 2028 Tournament.

This study covered an analysis of the economic impact, the political football landscape and the likely costs of hosting the event.

The chairman of the UK Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Julian Knight MP, described the prospective World Cup bid as “a giant, expensive vanity project” and added the further scathing comments as follows:

It is unacceptable that £2.8m in taxpayer money was wasted on a pipe dream that was clearly doomed from the start. Football in the UK needs to sort out its reputation at home before we go after the biggest tournament.”

In a statement, the following reason for the change was given:

Hosting a UEFA Euro offers a similar return on investment, with the European tournament carrying a far lower delivery cost and the potential of the benefits being realised sooner.”

The chief executive of the English Football Association, Mark Bullingham, described both bids as “brilliant” but added that after assessing the “winnability” the decision was made in favour of going for the UEFA bid.

The costs of bidding for, organising and staging major international sporting events continue to rise. For example, the costs of last year’s delayed Tokyo Summer Olympic Games amounted reputedly to US$15.4 billion, including US$2.8 billion costs of postponing the Games due to the COVID-19 Pandemic! Even then the Games were held without any spectators!

Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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The editors of  the Journal Sports Law & Taxation are Professor Ian Blackshaw and Dr Rijkele Betten, with specialist contributions from the world's leading practitioners and academics in the sports law and taxation fields.

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Maisto e Associati, Milano

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