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UEFA Will Support a British 2030 World Cup

It’s a few international cycles away, but nations are already starting to jockey for the privilege to host.

England v France - International Friendly Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images

It's still quite a bit aways, but there's already increasing interest in hosting the 2030 World Cup. Aleksander Cefarin, the president of UEFA, the governing football federation for the whole of Europe, just said that the confederation would back a bid from either England or a combined bid from the British Isles. This is particularly interesting because the 2030 tournament will fall on the 100th anniversary of the World Cup. Uruguay held the inaugural World Cup and it was rumored that they would co-host with Argentina. As you can imagine, a contest between Uruguay and England-led bids would be significant.

There's three World Cups before we get to this tournament. Next year's tournament will be held in Russia, while the 2022 edition will be placed in Qatar. The expanded-format tournament for 2026 has not officially been awarded yet, but a joint bid from the United States, Mexico, and Canada remains the only bid officially in the running. UEFA are barred from bidding on the '26 World Cup because of the rotation rule (a continent can't host again until after two tournaments). This makes 2030 the earliest opportunity for UEFA to get another hosting opportunity.

With the expanded format, one can expect few countries to be able to host in 2030. All of Asia and (presumably) North America would be ineligible, assuming the current rotation rules remain in place. Few nations have the infrastructure to handle an event like the World Cup. In Europe, Germany and England have the largest, most up-to-date stadiums. Germany held their second tournament in 2006, so they will be unlikely to bid again soon. In contrast, England haven't hosted since 1966 (none of the other nations in the United Kingdom have ever hosted). They have aggressively pursued a World Cup bid since a failed attempt at the 2006 edition.