Prime Minister Boris Johnson has thrown his weight behind British efforts to host Euro 2020 and the 2030 World Cup.
Johnson said Britain was “certainly on for” staging more games at this summer’s delayed European Championship, if required.
And the PM confirmed government support – expected to be £2.8m – for a joint bid from the UK and Republic of Ireland for the 2030 World Cup.
England, Scotland and Ireland are already due to host some fixtures at Euro 2020, which will culminate at Wembley in July.
Governing body Uefa has so far stuck by plans to hold it across 12 different countries, despite Covid-19 complications.
The UK’s relative success in rolling out vaccines – and its well developed football infrastructure -would make it well placed to step in and host the whole tournament if needed.
“We are hosting the Euros. We are hosting the semis and the final,” he told The Sun.
“If they want any other matches hosted, we’re certainly on for that but at the moment that’s where we are with Uefa.”
2030 World Cup bid
England suffered a resounding and wounding defeat the last time it bid for the World Cup in 2010. Russia beat England and other bidders to stage the 2018 event. Qatar won the vote to host the tournament next year.
Financial support for a joint bid from the UK and Republic of Ireland is expected to be included in tomorrow’s Budget announcement.
On the 2030 World Cup bid, Johnson said: “We are very, very keen to bring football home in 2030. I do think it’s the right place.
“It’s the home of football, it’s the right time. It will be an absolutely wonderful thing for the country.”
Johnson’s comments on a World Cup bid were welcomed by the football associations of England, Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
They said: “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.”