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Johnson backs UK bid for 2030 World Cup, offers stadiums for Euro 2020 games

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Ogden pours cold water on the UK's 2030 World Cup hopes (0:58)

Mark Ogden explains how the UK has already scored an own goal in a bid to to host the 2030 World Cup. (0:58)

The Football Association is exploring the possibility of launching a bid to host the 2030 World Cup with UK Prime Minister Johnson giving his public backing to "bring football home".

Britain has not hosted a major men's international football tournament since 1996, failing in previous attempts to bring the 2006 and 2018 World Cups to England. The formal bidding process for the 2030 competition does not begin until next year and a feasibility study is being conducted before any decision is taken on whether the United Kingdom will enter the race.

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"We are very, very keen to bring football home in 2030. I do think it's the right place," Johnson said in an interview with The Sun. "It's the home of football, it's the right time. It will be an absolutely wonderful thing for the country."

A joint-statement from the football associations of England, Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland read: "The football associations and government partners of the UK and Ireland are delighted that the UK government has committed to support a prospective five-association bid for the 2030 FIFA World Cup.

"The FAs will continue to undertake feasibility work to assess the viability of a bid before FIFA formally opens the process in 2022.

"Staging a FIFA World Cup would provide an incredible opportunity to deliver tangible benefits for our nations. "If a decision is made to bid for the event, we look forward to presenting our hosting proposals to FIFA and the wider global football community."

Johnson has also claimed the UK is ready to host additional matches at this summer's delayed Euro 2020 finals as significant progress is made in vaccinating the wider population against COVID-19. The UK has so far administered a first-dose vaccine to more than a third of its population, considerably more than their European Union counterparts.

However, sources have told ESPN that there is almost no chance of the UK hosting the tournament given the logistics involved and it remains UEFA's intention to stage the finals across 12 host cities as originally planned. Those cities have been asked to submit their plans for staging matches with fans by April 7 with UEFA's Executive Committee expected to finalise the tournament schedule at a meeting of their Executive Committee later that month.

England manager Gareth Southgate admitted they were "well placed" to host the finals but played down the idea that would give them an automatic advantage on the field.

"We have our group matches at Wembley anyway, we're hugely looking forward to that and we've got our fingers crossed that we keep progressing as we are and that there could be some fans in the stadium," he told talkSPORT.

"That would be the first step. Everything else is a bit up in the air. At the moment we're being told the tournament will stay in its current format. You would imagine if there is an option for one country to host then we will be well placed with a couple of other countries to do that.

"But as a team we've got to remember that just hosting is not a great guarantee of success, it is only France that have done that in European Championships. You don't win just because you're the hosts. We won't win just because our matches are at Wembley. We have got to play well and be as prepared as we can possibly be."

UEFA executive committee member Zbigniew Boniek, president of the Polish FA, said suggestions the body was considering switching to one nation hosting were wide of the mark.

"I am on the executive committee at UEFA and every day I talk privately with the people who organise this tournament and I can assure you that this is nonsense. Apparently, the tournament will be moved entirely to England; a month ago it was Russia. Why not Poland too?" he told The Times.

"In my opinion, it is actually easier to organise a tournament in 12 countries than in one because this way, you can be more flexible at this difficult time.

"People who say we have to move the tournament have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. It would be a gigantic, complicated thing to do and would cost UEFA big money. The current 12-venue format is the only feasible way to host it."

Information from Reuters was used in this report.