World Cup 2030: Uefa would 'strongly support' pan-British or English bid

By Richard ConwayBBC Radio 5 live sports news correspondent
British football deserves World Cup - Uefa president

A British bid for the 2030 World Cup would be "strongly supported" and the tournament should not be sold to the country "who wants to pay the most", says Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin.

But, with the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, that would go against the governing body's continental rotation policy.

Ceferin says rules "cannot change just because we have some big sponsors".

Speaking to BBC Sport in Cardiff before the Champions League final, he added: "It's simply time for us [Europe] to host the World Cup in 2030.

"I cannot say which country will place a bid from Europe, but we cannot just sell the World Cup to the ones who want to pay the most."

Asked about China's commercial grip on Fifa, Ceferin told BBC Sport: "I didn't want to speak just about China, but the most important thing is that the World Cup should go to the country that has the best bid."

Russia will host the next World Cup in 2018, making a European bid for the 2030 tournament viable.

Ceferin says an English or pan-British bid would be welcomed.

"It just has to be a decision not just of the FA, probably also the government and others too. But they deserve to have a World Cup in the near future," the head of European football's governing body said.

"They are capable of organising the World Cup, of that I'm sure. If they decide to go, we will strongly support them."

World Cup 1966
England hosted the only World Cup to be played in Britain, winning the tournament in 1966

Cerefin was speaking the day before Cardiff hosts the Champions League final and said Wales hosting the final was "very important for the development of football".

"For Cardiff, it's a fantastic experience," he added. "For us it's a bit of a challenge in terms of infrastructure and hotels but I'm sure Wales will never forget the event.

"It's very important for the development of football. [Wales] made some fantastic results last year [at Euro 2016], they have one of the best players in the world - for a small country it is a fantastic result."

'There's crazy money around'

Gianni Infantino, head of world governing body Fifa, has also called for more transparency around transfers, and his Uefa counterpart Ceferin agrees.

The issue of agents' fees has been in the spotlight after claims Mino Raiola earned £41m from Paul Pogba's world record move to Manchester United last summer.

"First of all, there's crazy money around," said Ceferin. "But we have to speak to all the stakeholders and to speak to Fifa and in the end, it has to be a Fifa decision.

"We were the ones who were pushing against third-party ownership [of players] and we succeeded with that, so we will have to work on this as usual. It's a problem."

However, Ceferin says it is "not a simple decision".

"As a lawyer, if somebody agrees to an agreement about a certain amount it's hard to say he cannot get it," he added.

"I don't have a miracle solution but we have to react, otherwise hundreds of millions of money goes out of football."

Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba completed a world-record £89m transfer to Manchester United last summer

'Fifa will have to change... or hurt football around the world'

A disagreement between Fifa and Uefa has also emerged over the flow of information between the two, with Uefa saying they were kept in the dark over certain issues.

Although not mentioned by Ceferin, it is understood that previously unknown financial details of TV rights contracts for the 2026 World Cup, which is expected to be held in North America,external-link form part of the complaint.

In addition, a Fifa monitoring committee uncovered evidence last year of North Koreans working in alleged "appalling" conditions on a stadium that will host World Cup games in St Petersburg next summer.

Infantino only confirmed the presence of the workers and concerns over their living and working conditions in a letter to the presidents of the Nordic FAs earlier this month, a copy of which was seen by several media organisations.external-link

Ceferin says he "condemns" such treatment and welcomed the fact follow-up inspections found no evidence of other North Koreans working on World Cup stadiums.

However, Uefa intends to send a letter next week to Fifa outlining its concerns over the lack of information, with Ceferin warning his organisation will refuse to make decisions at key meetings unless they receive timely updates.

"What disturbs me is that we have to read about that in the media," he said. "It's not a criticism towards the president of Fifa, it's a criticism towards an organisation which is the world governing body of football and doesn't give us very important information.

"In the end, Fifa will have to change completely or it will hurt all the football organisations around the world."


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