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The football associations of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland are working together to assess the technical and financial feasibility of a joint bid for the 2030 FIFA world cup. Scottish Government officials have participated in early discussions alongside the UK Government, the Irish Government, the Welsh Government and the Administration in Northern Ireland.
I thank the cabinet secretary for that positive response. Scotland and the UK have a great track record of hosting and delivering major national sporting events. There can be no better way for a new generation of Scots to be involved in a national game than for them to see world cup games being played here on Scottish soil. Will the cabinet secretary agree to work on a cross-party basis to take the bid forward and to make sure that the whole Parliament can support it?
As yet, there is no bid. FIFA held its latest council meeting in Shanghai in October 2019, during which it announced that 2030 bids would be submitted in 2024
.The bidding rules and timeline for the 2030 bid process have not been released yet; it is anticipated that they will be released by May or June 2022.
Miles Briggs has identified that any major event, especially one in the far future, would require parties to work together, especially if there is a multi-country bid. The Scottish Parliament working cross-party to fund and support such bids is important, as it did on, for example, the Union Cycliste Internationale world championships, which will be held in Scotland in 2023.
Miles Briggs is also right about inspiring young people. We have the UEFA championships coming to Scotland. I hope that Miles Briggs and others from across the chamber will get behind that, because it is an opportunity to inspire young footballers.