“It’s Coming Home…” Hopefully: Boris Backs World Cup 2030
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ignited hope that football could be coming home, as he pledges £2.8m in this week’s budget to bid for the 2030 FIFA World Cup to be held in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
During an interview with The Sun, he stated: "I do think it's the right place. It's the home of football, it's the right time. It will be an absolutely wonderful thing for the country.
The potential to host the first World Cup on British soil since that unforgettable tournament in 1966 already has fans licking their lips, as the hope to be crowned World champions is once again reignited.
There is reason to be optimistic, as a joint statement from the FA’s of England, Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland asserted: "The football associations and government partners of the UK and Ireland are delighted that the UK government has committed to support a prospective five-association bid for the 2030 FIFA World Cup.’
Obviously, the bid is only in its preliminary phase and the respective football associations are preparing for the official bidding process to begin in 2022. However, the intent shown by the British Government is sure to be welcomed with open arms by all in an attempt to reinvigorate the British public following a difficult year.
The FA summarised the government’s reasoning, as they declared: "Staging a FIFA World Cup would provide an incredible opportunity to deliver tangible benefits for our nations.”
England boss Gareth Southgate has also shown his support for the bid as he told TalkSPORT: “for everybody, that would be an amazing experience”.
However, it is clear Southgate’s focus is currently solely on improving England’s performances at major tournaments, but the potential to lead England to World Cup glory on home soil and follow in Sir Alf Ramsay’s footsteps is certainly a tantalising opportunity for the ex-Middlesbrough man.
With the European Championships in sight, fans across the nation will soon have their eyes glued to their television screens to see how young starlets like Phil Foden and Bukayo Saka fit into this young and promising England side. It is without a doubt that the possibility of a World Cup in the UK within their careers can do nothing but motivate them to earn their stripes and secure their place as key players within the England setup for years to come.
Although UK government support is unquestionably a step in the right direction for British football, we must be wary of not getting too eager too quickly.
The 2030 World Cup bid will certainly be heavily contested as a joint bid from Chile, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay is expected, alongside a potential bid from Spain, Portugal and Morocco to joint-host the competition.
It would be naïve to assume that challenge for this World Cup will not be fierce, but it will definitely be interesting to see how the bidding process plays out. However, Britain’s commitment to bring football home in 2030 is promising, and the dream that England will finally emulate Sir Bobby Moore and Co. is well and truly alive.
Written by Elliott Peeters-Vanstone