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The UK and Ireland’s likely doomed bid to host the 2030 World Cup will be discussed with MPs on Tuesday

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The likely doomed England-led 2030 FIFA World Cup bid will be discussed with MPs on Tuesday by the heads of UK Sport and BBC.

MPs from all parties will examine the cost of £2.8m to fund a feasibility study being swallowed up by UK taxpayers for England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland’s bid.

The House of Commons Committee on Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) of the House of Commons takes place as the Daily Mail revealed on Saturday that UEFA favors Spain-Portugal as its preferred option to advance to a FIFA bid vote in 2024 .

MEPs will discuss UK and Ireland’s likely doomed bid to host the 2030 World Cup

It is clear that a bid from the UK and Ireland for Euro 2028 is favored by power brokers in Switzerland, who would fully support such a move – if England and its partners agreed.

UEFA has already made new provisions in its recently released 2028 euro bid process, which allows for multi-country bids as long as such a tender is ‘geographically compact’.

England have already expressed an interest in hosting the European final in seven years’ time, but how it would respond to co-hosting with its compatriots is open to debate.

While losing a World Cup will be a major blow to the FA, the smaller association partners in Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Northern Ireland would certainly embrace the European Championship if it were presented.

Spain-Portugal is UEFA's preferred option to make a FIFA bid vote in 2024

Spain-Portugal is UEFA’s preferred option to make a FIFA bid vote in 2024

Informal high-level discussions have already taken place between a number of national stakeholders and the European Football Association on its preference for a bid between Spain and Portugal.

A UK and Irish tender on behalf of UEFA is not seen as something the organizations say has a real chance of success in front of the 211 members of FIFA, who will vote on the issue in 2024.

2030 is the next chance for a European country to host a World Cup, and it’s believed a bid between Spain and Portugal would be overwhelmingly favored by world football ahead of an England-led campaign – in part because of the shocking scenes at the Euro 2020 final at Wembley as thousands of drunk and ticketless fans burst into the stadium.

Sources in the Irish government have already been informed about the Spain-Portugal plan, and Tuesday’s committee meeting in the House of Commons will determine whether MPs here have also received that information.

MPs from all parties will examine the £2.8m cost to fund a feasibility study, which is being swallowed up by UK taxpayers

MPs from all parties will examine the £2.8m cost to fund a feasibility study, which is being swallowed up by UK taxpayers

A Dublin government insider said: ‘The World Cup bid is now a very secondary position as UEFA favors Spain and Portugal, and that word seems to be very clear here.’

UEFA is incredibly sensitive that the situation does not develop into an argument at a time when it is at war with FIFA over the World Football Association’s proposals for a biennial World Cup.

“If England agreed with its other partners to accept a European Championship then the issue will be resolved peacefully – UEFA will support that process,” a UEFA insider revealed.

“Until then, the feasibility situation will continue to evolve and that will be a good thing for the home countries as it prepares them for what is now a likely successful Euro 2028 bid.”

Tuesday’s DCMS committee hearing will examine the bidding process from a financial and cost perspective, with witnesses called to include BBC Sport Director Barbara Slater and UK Sport COO Simon Morton.

The most likely outcome of such hearings is that MPs will support the FA and its stakeholders to continue its investigations, which are underway, along with its partner countries.

It is clear that UEFA would instead support a bid between England and Ireland for Euro 2028

It is clear that UEFA would instead support a bid between England and Ireland for Euro 2028

Despite Spain-Portugal’s preferred option for UEFA, the Anglo-Irish group has nothing to lose by staying within the process – except for the cost of the study which is sure to be raised by some MPs.

What happens in the select committee on Tuesday will be crucial, if questions are raised about the nearly £3million cost and how much traction that issue is gaining.

Witnesses from UK Sport, UK External Affairs, British Council and the BBC could be asked about the Spain-Portugal option, but it is very likely they will only speak about the official status of the current trial.

The committee hearing will also outline FIFA’s bidding process to the committee.

One of the questions raised by the FA’s head of media relations was whether a Euro 2028 tournament instead of the World Cup two years later is an ‘acceptable alternative’

England have already shown interest in organizing the European final in seven years' time

England have already shown interest in organizing the European final in seven years’ time

While UEFA is not in favor of large numbers of countries hosting another European Championship, after the logistical and operational nightmares associated with Euro 2020, it has paved the way for multi-country bidding.

It announced last week the bidding process for “potential UEFA EURO 2028 hosts”, leaving the door open “in the event of more than two joint host associations”.

Any co-hosting of future Euros by multiple countries will be allowed ‘provided that the bidding countries are geographically compact’ – a criterion clearly achieved by an Anglo-Irish bid.

UEFA and the FA have not responded to questions about the plan.

The Irish Football Association “remains committed to the ongoing feasibility study of a potential bid for the 2030 World Cup”.

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