England’s hopes of hosting 2030 World Cup given major boost


London:England’s hopes of staging the 2030 World Cup may have been given a major boost after Fifa ruled on Friday the 2026 tournament would not be staged in Europe.
The game’s governing body resurrected the continental rotation policy it abandoned in 2007 and which had prevented its showpiece event from being hosted in the same region more than once every 12 years.
With Russia and Qatar staging the next two World Cups, the decision by the Fifa council effectively handed the 2026 event to north America, with the United States already overwhelming favourites to hold it during what will be the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
The Daily Telegraph has learnt members of the council expect the new rotation policy to continue for the 2030 tournament, meaning it could not be awarded to Asia.
China had been planning a bid in 2030, one that had the potential to destroy the prospect of football coming home for the 100th anniversary of the World Cup.
The only exception to the rotation policy will be when none of the eligible bidders meet the technical requirements for putting on the tournament.
Any 2030 bid by England, who launched a doomed attempt to stage the 2018 event, would face competition from a joint proposal by Argentina and Uruguay, the respective runner-up and winner of the inaugural World Cup, which was hosted by the latter.
The Fifa council approved in principle on Friday that, for the 2026 World Cup onwards, it would accept joint bids from an unlimited number of nations, paving the way for three or more to co-host the tournament for the first time. That is partly because it is almost certain to expand the event either to 40 or 48 teams from 2026 when it next meets in January.
England is one of few countries that could stage even a 48-nation event in its entirety, while Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn made it clear earlier this year bidding for 2030 was an option.
He added: “If we feel that there’s a Fifa organisation that’s transparent, open, true to the kind of principles that we want then, obviously, that would open up wider dialogue.”