A meeting between the football associations of England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland will occur after the UEFA congress in Rome on Friday, with the main aim being to put together a bid to host the 2030 World Cup.
Hosting the 2030 World Cup just in Britain had previously been the aim, but support is growing to include both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in the bid.
The main aim of this meeting is to select 16 potential venues for the tournament, which will see 48 teams compete as the larger format will start from the 2026 World Cup in the U.S., Mexico and Canada.
This kind of World Cup bid is the future for the competition. With the tournament growing in terms of the number of teams competing, larger nations, or joint hosts, are needed to cope with the huge amounts of fans attending the events.
In this situation, spreading the World Cup across the UK and Ireland makes perfect sense as all of the host cities would be within a 90 minute flight of one another. The train system in the UK would mean the longest trip would probably be from London to Glasgow, which can be done in around four hours.
With EURO 2020 being spread across Europe, it will be intriguing to see if this model will be used for future World Cups so that entire countries do not carry the whole burden of having to build new stadiums and infrastructure to cope with hosting it.
Even in England it is believed the likes of Anfield, Old Trafford and Tottenham’s new stadium at White Hart Lane would need upgrades to reach certain standards FIFA require in terms of media facilities, having a certain distance around the pitch between fans and players and things of that nature.