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Volume 6 No. 266
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FA Chair Greg Clarke To Embark On Global Tour To Help 2030 World Cup Hopes

FA Chair Greg Clarke will "embark on a worldwide tour" of other FIFA member countries on a "charm offensive" which could help England if it decides to bid for the 2030 World Cup, according to Martha Kelner of the London GUARDIAN. Clarke has already visited two-thirds of UEFA territories but "he will extend his meetings to include Africa and Asia." The purpose of the trip is to "build bridges and reverse a commonly held belief among certain countries that the FA is arrogant." However, it will "no doubt also be invaluable if the FA puts its hat in the ring" to host the 2030 World Cup, in what will be the second 48-team competition. A European host country for '30 is "looking increasingly likely" after UEFA "promised to fight for the tournament and block any effort to hand it to China." When Clarke was asked this year about a possible World Cup bid, he said, "We are building bridges, we are showing that we are not standoffish noses in the air, we invented football, that sort of stuff that we have a reputation for, we are just a team player in UEFA and FIFA." England failed in two bids to host the World Cup since the '66 tournament, most recently in the vote for the '18 edition. Former England Minister of Sport Richard Caborn claimed an "arrogance around the FA was reason for its failed bid" (GUARDIAN, 12/6). In London, Martyn Ziegler reported AFC President Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa wants England to bid for the 2030 World Cup, but to ensure it is the "sole candidate" from UEFA so the European vote "is not split." UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin said that an English or British bid "would be welcomed." He will resist any FIFA attempts to change the rotation rules to allow an Asian country to bid (LONDON TIMES, 12/7).