The Football Association of Wales (FAW) has confirmed that it has held talks over a potential home nations bid for the 2030 Fifa World Cup.
Jonathan Ford, the soccer governing body’s chief executive, told the BBC that the joint proposal would be “strong and compelling”, and added that there is set to be a feasibility study into the prospect.
“This is something that has come up in conversation and it is something we are looking into,” said Ford, speaking to BBC Sport Wales.
“It’s no more than that and there’s going to be no news until at least midway through 2019. But there is going to be a little bit of a feasibility study to see whether or not a UK-wide bid, a home nations bid or similar, would be a powerful, strong bid.
“There’s a long way to go on it but it could be 2030, Fifa World Cup in the home nations – what a fantastic opportunity that would be.”
Ford’s comments come after Greg Clarke, the chairman of English soccer’s Football Association (FA), confirmed earlier this month that the governing body was considering putting England forward to host the international showpiece in 2030 – a bid that Uefa president Aleksander Ceferinhas has previously said European soccer’s governing body would “strongly support”.
The Scottish Football Association (SFA) has also confirmed that exploratory discussions are underway, and BBC Scotland reports that the country’s government is aware of the talks and would offer its support to any bid. A Downing Street spokesman has also confirmed that the UK government would get behind any bid involving the home nations.
Ford added that an English-led bid is the most likely outcome given the facilities required to host the competition, which by 2030 will have been expanded to include 48 teams.
“The reality is for countries like Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, it’s always going to be a case of having to do it in partnership with another, and the logical partner for us would be England,” said Ford.
Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay have already announced plans to jointly bid for the 2030 World Cup, while it was reported last week that Morocco, who have failed in five bids to secure the tournament, are exploring the possibility of joining forces with Spain and Portugal in an attempt to land the competition in 2030.
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