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Taoiseach speaks to Boris Johnson by telephone about joint bid to host 2030 World Cup

Micheál Martin said the Irish government would be “very happy to co-operate” with the UK.

The Taoiseach said it would be something to look forward to.
The Taoiseach said it would be something to look forward to.
Image: Shutterstock/Irish Drone Photography

TAOISEACH MICHEAL MARTIN spoke on the phone with the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson today where they discussed the pursuit of a joint British-Irish bid for the 2030 World Cup. 

The matter was briefly discussed after they had talked about the Covid response by the two nations, as well as the vaccine roll out. 

Last night, the FAI expressed their delight after the UK government committed to supporting the joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup.

The statement, released in conjunction with the Football Associations from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, said:

“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.”

Speaking to reporters earlier today, the Taoiseach said it was “very exciting”.

He said the Irish government would be “very happy to co-operate” with the UK.

Martin said the idea that Ireland should be seen as a location for major events is something previous governments had been eager to promote.

While it is “early days”, the Irish government would “certainly do anything we can to add value to that proposition”, he said.

The Taoiseach said such an event would make sports fans very happy, “and it would be something to look forward to”, said Martin.

At government level there is a belief the holding of the World Cup event is a genuine prospect, with the Junior Minister for Sport Jack Chambers stating today that it is a viable possibility. 

The first step is the feasibility study which is getting underway, he said.

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There was no formal discussion or Cabinet decision today on the event.

The government is willing to back the five football associations in Ireland that are eager to push ahead with the bid, said the government spokesperson, but added that “there is a long way to go”. 

It is believed there was a co-ordinated approach to last night’s announcement, due to the Irish government being informed that the spend on the feasibility study would form part of today’s UK Budget announcement. 

A government spokesperson said the FAI now has a new chief executive, and the body has a “big ambition to get its house in order”. 

Opposition parties were also somewhat supportive of the announcement, with Labour’s Alan Kelly stating that it is a “great idea” for Ireland and the UK to jointly host the tournament, though he admitted that it would take a lot to organise. 

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett said he welcomed the news, but said he would like to know how much it would cost. 

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