World Cup leads UK Sport major events bid

Cycling

UK Sport has unveiled plans to stage the world’s biggest sporting events, with the 2030 FIFA World Cup at the top of their 15-year wishlist.

The government’s organisation for elite sport has confirmed bold plans to make the U.K. a “world-leading host of major sporting events” by releasing a list of sporting events they want to host.

At the top, labelled the “crowning achievement” by UK Sport chief executive officer Simon Morton, is the 2030 World Cup. The Football Association, having failed in bids to host the 2006 and 2018 World Cups, is already conducting a study into the feasibility of hosting the tournament in what could be a joint bid with Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland.

The World Cup forms part of a 85-event wishlist across the bulk of Olympic and Paralympic Sports, including forthcoming men’s and women’s Rugby World Cups and the start of all three of cycling’s major tours, with all pencilled in before 2025. They also have the Ryder Cup on the list and the Champions League final.

UK Sport helped London stage the 2012 Olympics, and now want to make the country the centre of the sporting world, saying the programme of events has the potential to generate £2 billion for the local community, while bringing in 15 million spectators — these figures do not include the potential to host the 2030 World Cup.

It is an aspirational list — which will need refining — but secured bids include: 2019 Men’s Cricket World Cup, 2019 Netball World Cup, 2019 Solheim Cup, Euro 2020 Football Championships, 2021 Rugby League World Cup, 2022 Commonwealth Games and 2022 World Gymnastics Championships.

“The biggest target on this list is the World Cup,” Morton said. “If we bid for that, landing that event would be the crowning achievement, almost irrespective of everything else we’ve got.

“We have to recognise that the process FIFA [football’s world governing body] used for 2026 was significantly better. It was certainly a lot more transparent than previous processes. And you could argue it is now one of the best in world sport.

“But we all remember the 2018 bid. That is why I think it is right the FA is cautious and it is doing some feasibility work to make sure it is an appropriate one.”

Dame Katherine Grainger, UK Sport chair, added: “With passionate spectators, a fantastic portfolio of international sporting venues and the drive to keep improving and innovating, the UK offers the complete package. We want to maintain our standing as a world leader in this area and our ambitious event strategy will help us do just that over the coming decades.”

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