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Noel Mooney: "Time is right" for UK and Irish World Cup bid


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Former interim FAI CEO Noel Mooney believes the "time is right" for a joint UK & Irish bid for the 2030 World Cup. 

Now the CEO of the Football Association of Wales (FAW), Mooney has resurrected talk of international football's showpiece being played - at least in part - in Ireland.

Earlier this year, current FAI CEO Jonathan Hill described being part of a 2030 bid was "absolutely credible".

Hill added, "I think the decision to have a joint approach is the right decision. Because we know that the English FA has already had two attempts to host the World Cup since it last did in 1966.

"So I think it needed to change the narrative slightly, and I think, incorporating the other home nations and, in particular, incorporating the FAI into the proposed approach, I think is very sensible.

"I think that will fall well within both UEFA, and within UEFA federations and I think also within FIFA."

Mooney - who has previously worked at UEFA - was speaking on Monday at the FAW's launch of a new six-year strategy.

"We obviously had the Euros semis and the final this year in England,” he said, "We had Glasgow hosting and nearly Dublin but for the pandemic. I was in Glasgow for some matches and London for the semis and final.

“Anybody who came here could really feel the love for football in the UK. No question about it.”

The region's most recent bid for a World Cup ended in controversy.

England were controversially pipped by Russia to hosting duties for the 2018 World Cup.

But Mooney is confident the islands can successfully host the tournament come 2030.

"I think the time is right. Having worked in UEFA I know this very well," he said.

"They do see the UK as very much the home of football. People love coming here and feel that football lives here.

“If you look at the concept of the Super League it was the fans in England who quickly said ‘This is not for us’ and that was a sign of how powerful football is – the culture, the heritage.

“It’s the same in Wales and having travelled around the country I’ve been pleasantly surprised how much football is liked here.”

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2030 World Cup FAI FAW FIFA Jonathan Hill Noel Mooney UEFA

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