FAI join UK plan to bid for 2030 World Cup
The FAI last night confirmed that it is open to being part of a bid for the 2030 World Cup.
Football chiefs in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have already been in talks about launching an ambitious bid for the tournament. And the FAI were asked to take part in discussions about expanding the plan to the Republic of Ireland.
A statement from Abbotstown said that "positive discussions" had culminated with agreement to move to the next phase.
"It has been agreed that the Football Association of Ireland will join the English, Irish, Welsh and Scottish FAs in conducting a feasibility review into a potential joint bid to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup," read the brief missive.
The expansion of the competition to 48 teams from 2026 has opened up the possibility of bigger bids and UEFA president Alexsander Ceferin - an ally of FAI chief John Delaney - had spoken favourably about the idea of a bid from the region.
America, Canada and Mexico are the three co-hosts for 2026 and will all qualify automatically but it's thought highly unlikely that FIFA would give places to five countries.
Therefore, it's entirely possible that Ireland would still have to qualify. One complication with the UK bid was the absence of a stadium to meet the criteria in Northern Ireland.
By contrast, the Aviva Stadium and Croke Park would only need minimal alterations to conform to the standard and Dublin will have major tournament experience after Euro 2020.
There is precedent for having two stadiums in the one city so an approach to the GAA is expected to be a part of the feasibility study.