FAI World Cup Bid Gaining Traction

The idea of Ireland hosting at least part of the FIFA World Cup in 2030 gained further traction yesterday with the Government coming out in support.

“While it is very early days the prospect of hosting matches here during 2030 FIFA World Cup is very exciting,” said Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross.

“We are happy to play our part in the feasibility study and fully examine the potential of being part of a bid.”

Junior Minister Brendan Griffin added his weight as well saying “Being part of a British-Irish bid would be great for sporting and political co-operation on these islands and hosting the 2030 World Cup would be a once in a lifetime experience. We are currently preparing to host EURO 2020, which, combined with the RWC 2023 bid, would be very valuable experience in any potential bid.”

Further speculative details were beginning to emerge yesterday which suggest that Ireland could add Croke Park to the Aviva Stadium and therefore jump into third place in the pecking order of the five potential hosts behind lead bidder England and Scotland who would have four potential stadia to add to the mix.

Wales would have one and Northern Ireland would not at present be in a position to stage matches though could be used as a training centre.

Those calculations could come into greater importance if a precedent is set on the USA, Canada and Mexico all automatically qualifying for 2026.  The prospect of five automatically going into the 48 team tournament, as it will be by then is unrealistic as that would leave only eleven other spots across the whole of Europe.

Rob Hartnett joined Sinead Carroll and Ewan McKenna on Today FM last evening to discuss the realistic possibility of the bid being successful.  You can listen back to the conversation on the Thursday 20th September show at 20:15

The FAI confirmed on Tuesday that it is joining forces with the English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish FA’s to explore the feasibility of bidding to stage the World Cup in 2030.

We raised the genuine prospect of a bid here on Sport for Business earlier this month and now the dream is becoming a little bit closer to reality.

In December Dublin will host the draw for the 2020 UEFA European Championships. Next year we will host the U19 Championships and in 2020 we will stage four games in the main event at the Aviva Stadium.

The quality of our bid to win that was hailed at the time as top of the class and there is no doubt that the country is capable of staging parts of even the biggest events.



The 2026 World Cup was awarded earlier this year to a joint bid from the United States, Canada and Mexico. The 2022 version will be staged in December in the Middle East Emirate of Qatar.

In 2030 there will be pressure to bring the tournament to Africa after Morocco’s runner-up bid for 2026 and there will be pressure soon from China to host the World Cup in the same way as it has or will have hosted the Olympic, Paralympic and Winter Olympic Games.

Europe will want to present a strong case and with the tournament extended by then to host 48 teams, the sheer size and scale would demand imaginative thinking.

England would have the capacity to host on its own, as would Germany, France and possibly Spain or Italy but the move at this level is towards shared hosting.

If the United States is willing to co-host then the model is already in the minds of football administrators around the world.

There are suggested bids likely to emerge from a shared bid from Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, and another from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.

Given that Asia and North America will have hosted the next two editions neither of those areas will come into consideration for waht will be the Centennial World Cup.

If the Olympic decision to stage their Centennial back in Athens for historic reasons is heeded then perhaps Uruguay, which staged the first World Cup back in 2030 will be in pole position but Ireland is at the table and who could ever have dreamed that might be the case.

Ireland will stage the Open Championship next year, putting the island onto a global stage for sporting events.

The reality now though is that we are confident, we have facilities, our infrastructure is strong and our willingness is proven.

The Government’s ten year National Sports Policy will have been renewed by the time 2030 rolls around. Could a major part of that be how to plan for the impact and the lasting benefit of hosting Brazil, France or Argentina in the FIFA World Cup?


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