England: Should Bellingham be in squad for Euros?
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Mr Johnson met Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin and made the case for the iconic competition to be played in the UK and Ireland, ahead of today’s Euro 2020 final between England and Italy. But the UK is set to face tough opposition from the European Union who are understood to be backing a joint bid by Spain–Portugal to host the FIFA World Cup bid.
The bid was first announced by the football federations in Lisbon and Madrid October 2020 and is expected to put pressure on European governing body Uefa, who are reportedly keen that a single European candidate is selected before a final vote to select a venue is held in 2024.
Any formal bidding process to find a host country will begin in 2022 and a final host will be selected at the FIFA congress in 2024.
Although a formal bid is yet to be announced by the UK Government, the move, talks have taken place with the Football Association, the Scottish Football Association (SFA) and Welsh, Ulster and Irish counterparts.
A UK Government source told the Express that a bid would “put Brexit Britain on the world stage” and bring the “UK together.”
They added: “A win tonight for England in the Euros could be the start of a long road to footballing success.
“We’ve also done the Olympics in 2012 so we certainly have the potential to put on a good show.”
The Sunday Telegraph also reported that ministers had privately referred to the “power of sport” in strengthening ties between the nation during meetings.
Among the venues which could be included in a 2030 bid include Hampden Park in Glasgow, Wembley Stadium in London and the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
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After 2026, the World Cup will be extended to 48 teams but only 16 nations will be able to qualify from Europe.
This could mean that not all UK teams would be granted a straight passage to the Games.
It has not yet been decided how the qualification will be arranged but these arrangements will form part of future discussions.
In January, Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged almost £3m towards a joint bid with the Irish Republic stressing it was “right time” to “bring football home”.
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He added: “We are very, very keen to bring football home in 2030. 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 Scottish Government refused to be drawn on a 2030 UK bid but a senior source stressed Scotland had the capability to host a major sporting event following the success of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
They added: “The success of the 2014 Commonwealth Games shows we are able to host and coordinate major sporting events.”
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