'The signs are positive' - Home nations World Cup 2030 bid looking likely

Wembley Stadium
Football Association
Conversations between the football associations have been fruitful as they build toward possibly hosting the tournament in 11 years

A World Cup 2030 bid from the United Kingdom and Ireland is looking increasingly likely after 'positive' talks about its feasibility.

Discussions have been ongoing this year between the football associations of England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland as they examine the possibility of a joint bid for the showpiece tournament.

Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell believes all correspondence so far is pointing toward a team bid for 2030 from the home nations, but warned that the situation could change quickly before the 2024 deadline.

"The feasibility study's come back," Maxwell said.

"Everybody's been round the table talking about it. So we'll just progress things from there and see where we end up.

"The decision is now 2024 so we've got a bit of time. The signs are positive but it's football, a lot can happen and because the decision's now delayed for a few years it gives us a bit of time to take stock, reflect and see what we're going to do going forward."

When asked if the football associations will now be seeking financial backing from their governments, Maxwell cautiously said he was just hoping for discussions between the home nations to progress.

"The next step is just to keep working within the home associations and take things from there," Maxwell said.

"Football supporters want to go and watch Worlds Cups. If we can get major tournaments, major finals, back to Scotland then that's great for the Scottish football public."

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A possible World Cup bid from the home nations gathered momentum on Monday when Football Association of Ireland general manager Noel Mooney said in The Times he would be 'very surprised' if there is not a joint attempt to host the tournament.

The next World Cup in 2022 will be held in the European winter in Qatar with 32 teams competing, before the tournament expands to 48 competitors for the 2026 edition to be hosted by the USA, Canada and Mexico.

Russia 2018 was the most recent World Cup staged by a UEFA nation, meaning by the 2030 tournament, it will be a 12-year gap since the confederation has hosted the event.