Clarke’s Fifa tour may lead to bid for 2030 World Cup

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Sport - By Ben Rumsby

The chair­man of the Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion was last night plan­ning a global tour of Fifa mem­bers in a move that could lay the foun­da­tions for an Eng­land bid for the 2030 World Cup.

Hav­ing spent part of his first 15 months as head of the FA vis­it­ing Euro­pean mem­ber as­so­ci­a­tions to re­build re­la­tion­ships that had been al­lowed to lapse un­der pre­vi­ous regimes, Greg Clarke is set to ex­tend that in the com­ing years to Africa and Asia.

The FA has made no de­ci­sion over bid­ding for the 2030 World Cup but Clarke’s charm of­fen­sive – which has so far seen him visit al­most two-thirds of Uefa’s 55 mem­bers – can only boost its chances of suc­cess if it threw its hat in the ring for that or the 2028 or 2032 Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship.

A sim­i­lar trip to meet county FAS helped Clarke suc­ceed where his three im­me­di­ate pre­de­ces­sors had failed by se­cur­ing sup­port for long-over­due re­forms to the gov­ern­ing body.

The FA has twice been hu­mil­i­ated this cen­tury when try­ing to land the 2006 and 2018 World Cups, wast­ing mil­lions on bids it now ap­pears were doomed from the out­set.

Get­ting Uefa mem­bers on board would be a first step to­wards pre­par­ing an Eng­land bid, with the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s pres­i­dent, Alek­sander Ce­ferin, re­veal­ing there will be only a sin­gle Euro­pean bid for the 2030 tour­na­ment, declar­ing it was the con­ti­nent’s “turn” to stage it.

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