Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell said that chances are high that the British and Irish football associations will place a joint bid to organise the FIFA World Cup in 2030.
According to the sources, the respective football associations of England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and the Republic of Ireland had already discussed the matter earlier this year. Now that a feasibility study has been done recently, the officials are seeing optimism in the prospect.
In a recent interview, Maxwell said, "The feasibility study's come back. Everybody's been round the table talking about it. So we'll just progress things from there and see where we end up. The decision is now 2024 so we've got a bit of time. The signs are positive but it's football, a lot can happen and because the decision's now delayed for a few years it gives us a bit of time to take stock, reflect and see what we're going to do going forward."
Responding to the reporters, Noel Mooney, the general manager of the Football Association of Ireland, said that if the home nations don't come up with a credible bid, he will be surprised.
BBC reports that the former UK Prime Minister Theresa May had previously assured the football fraternity that the government will fully support the organisers of the tournament if a joint bid is made. Reporters asked Maxwell if they would be looking forward to the government's formal backing. Responding to the question, he said now they are hoping that the home associations take things seriously from here and end up finalising the venue for the showpiece tournament.
He also talked about the fans' enthusiasm to watch live football world cup matches in stadiums. He feels that the entire football map in Scotland will undergo a positive transformation if the country hosts any major football tournament like the one under discussion.
From 2026, 48 teams will competecin the World Cup. The tournament, set to be held 9 years from now, will be co-hosted by the United States of America, Canada, and Mexico. Before that, Qatar will host the 2022 version of the world's most lucrative football tournament.
In three years, it will be the first time that the tournament will be shifted to the winter months, given that the organising country experiences tremendous heat waves during the summer.