The UK and Ireland have opted against bidding to host the 2030 World Cup as they will instead focus on the European Championships in 2028.
The nations concluded that the continental finals represents a better option than the global centenary tournament.
A joint statement from the associations read: “Following an extensive feasibility study, which assessed the potential opportunities in international football, the football associations of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland have agreed to focus on a bid to host Euro 2028, the third largest sports event in the world.
“The feasibility study included an analysis of the economic impact, the political football landscape and likely costs of hosting major international tournaments.
“On balance, the five associations have decided to focus solely on an official bid to host Euro 2028 and have agreed not to bid for the 2030 World Cup.
“Hosting a Euro offers a similar return on investment, with the European tournament carrying a far lower delivery cost and the potential of the benefits being realised sooner.
“It would be an honour and a privilege to collectively host Euro 2028 and to welcome all of Europe. It would also be a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the true impact of hosting a world-class football tournament by driving positive change and leaving a lasting legacy across our communities.
“We believe the UK and the Republic of Ireland can offer UEFA and European football something special in 2028 – a compact and unique five-way hosting collaboration that will provide a great experience for the teams and the fans.
“We continue to collaborate with our Government partners of the UK and Ireland about the next steps.”
The World Cup bid had been criticised as an “expensive vanity project” by Julian Knight, the Conservative MP who chairs the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee, after the failed solo attempts by England to stage the 2006 and 2018 World Cups.
The chaos which marred Wembley’s hosting of the Euro 2020 final last summer does not appear to have turned UEFA against staging big events at the London venue – with the inaugural ‘Finalissima’ match between European champions Italy and South American champions Argentina taking place there in June.
UEFA announced last year that parties interested in hosting Euro 2028 need to confirm that interest by March 23, with the bidders to be announced on April 5. The bidding process for the 2032 finals will also run in parallel.
It is expected that the tournament could have expanded from 24 to 32 teams by 2028, making a five-nation bid more attractive to UEFA.
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