Britain’s 2030 World Cup bid is ‘utter NONSENSE’, says DCMS chair Julian Knight
Julian Knight has slammed Britain’s attempts to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup as ‘utter nonsense’ amid fears Spain & Portugal are UEFA’s primary candidates.
Knight, the chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee, was speaking to Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston about Britain’s prospects of staging the event in nine years time.
Huddleston insists the crowd chaos which marred the Euro 2020 final at Wembley in July has not ‘put the kibosh’ in the prospective bid.
However, Huddleston blamed those ‘unruly and despicable’ individuals for ‘undermining’ efforts to bring future tournaments to the UK, but did say: ‘The conversations we have had and in the interactions we have had so far it’s recognised that it was exceptional, that we can actually hold events very well.
Yet Knight bluntly told him ‘we’re never going to win it’ and the £11m the government are spending on the bid is a waste of money.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in the aftermath of the Euro 2020 final that he still hoped the UK and Ireland could host the World Cup in 2030.
Julian Knight (left) has slammed Britain’s attempts to host the 2030 World Cup as ‘utter nonsense’ in speaking to Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston (right) about the bid
Sports minster Huddleston said the crowd chaos at the Euro 2020 final at Wembley had ‘undermined’ efforts to bring the World Cup to British shores
Spain and Portugal are thought to be the European frontrunners to host the 2030 World Cup
Huddleston said he did not share Knight’s pessimism, in part because the bidding process had ‘fundamentally changed’.
‘As you know last time (for the 2018 bid) we were made promises behind closed doors and those votes did not transpire,’ he said.
‘The process has changed. If it hadn’t, I would share your scepticism.’
The Euro final in July was marred by disturbances at Wembley and in other areas of London, with ticketless individuals managing to gain entry to the stadium for the match between England and Italy.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed last month that the Government, having originally pledged £2.8m for a feasibility study towards a World Cup 2030 bid, is ploughing an extra £8m into the checks over whether a joint bid would be a success.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in the aftermath of the Euro 2020 final that he still hoped the UK & Ireland could host the World Cup in 2030 (pictured left: FIFA president Gianni Infantino)
The appalling scenes at the final of Euro 2020 at Wembley left figures in football disgusted
Thousands had flocked to the venue, before drunken supporters then broke in and stole seats
The feasibility study isn’t expected to be completed until April 2022 at the earliest, by which time the home nation FAs will have a clearer idea over whether launching a successful bid to host the World Cup is realistic.
But despite major internal doubts, the Government appear set on pressing ahead with an effort to stage the World Cup for the first time since 1966.
In addition to the £11m investment into the Government are also pledging up to £500m towards grass roots football for a successful World Cup bid – another clear indication of their intention to build a credible bid.
FIFA’s bidding process is set to be launched in spring next year and the host will be chosen at the 2024 FIFA Congress.