England World Cup ‘dead in the water’ as UEFA likely to back Spain or Portugal after Euros

England: World Cup bid 'dead in water' says Knight

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DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight MP admitted the UK should not waste time on a “costly” World Cup bid in 2030 as hopes to host the major tournament were dashed following the events at the Euro 2020 final. The UK government has been debating ways to tackle online abuse and racism following black England football players being attacked for missing their penalty shootout. But Mr Knight said aside from that, UEFA is majorly concerned about security and they fear a repeat of the Hillsborough disaster could happen if the problems at Wembley Stadium are not fixed.

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Knight shared his honest thoughts on Great Britain and Ireland’s joint World Cup bid for 2030. 

He told the programme: “I hate to say, [it’s] dead in the water, but I was not optimistic beforehand.

“Because frankly, we don’t have a good reputation within the wider football community.

“But UEFA, and we need the backing of UEFA in order to enter the World Cup competition, they have the opportunity to back Spain or Portugal, or ourselves.

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“Frankly after this performance, I think is much more likely they’ll go for Spain and Portugal rather than us.”

Mr Knight was then asked if he thinks the Government should bother putting in a bit for 2030. 

He replied: “I think that the process is expensive.

“We were humiliated last time, I think we were the only country that voted for ourselves.

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“And I really do hope that there is real thought on what we actually do in terms of the World Cup.

“It is more than frankly World Cups and that sort of thing – this is actually about safety.

“I was listening to some of the stories coming out of the crush and things like that, it was awfully reminiscent of Hillsborough

“What we’ve got to do first of all, before we think about any World Cup bids, is sort this now and know exactly what went wrong and ensure that something like this never happens again.”

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Footage emerged from the Euro 2020 final of fans rushing through security and turnstiles to enter the stadium without tickets. 

While the number of stewards and police exceeded the recommended amount, fans clashed with police and each other to get inside the stadium.

Many were seen climbing over wire fences and storming the stadium doors to be met by more fans who were fighting back against the invasion. 

Wembley was kept at around two-thirds capacity following a Covid event experiment which saw attendees only allowed in if they tested negative or were double jabbed for COVID-19. 

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