By Simon Evans
MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - England's Football Association (FA) is carrying out a study into the feasibility of hosting the 2030 World Cup finals, FA chairman Greg Clarke said in a statement on Wednesday.
England, who hosted the World Cup in 1966, failed in their most recent attempt to win the rights for the 2018 tournament, which was held in Russia.
"Last month the English FA board agreed to conduct feasibility work into the possibility of putting itself forward to be UEFA’s potential candidate to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup," Clarke said.
"This work will take place during the new season and no decision will be made until 2019."
A South American tri-nation bid involving Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay has already been announced for 2030.
South American officials have said they are expecting a bid from England, possibly in alliance with the other parts of the United Kingdom.
While the FA has not directly addressed the possibility of a joint bid, it is likely that their study will look into the potential benefits of such an approach -- given the World Cup will expand to 48 teams in 2026.
FIFA's congress voted in June for a joint bid from the United States, Canada and Mexico to host the 2026 World Cup.
Following that decision, the FA's representative at FIFA, David Gill, said the cleaner bidding process opened up the possibility of a new England bid.
Clarke dismissed the suggestion from former FA chairman David Triesman that England could step in to host the 2022 tournament if it was taken away from Qatar.
"FIFA has chosen Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup and they have a duty to investigate any issues around the process that are rightly thrown into question.
"Russia did a brilliant job hosting the 2018 World Cup and we support the rotation of World Cup hosting among the confederations," said Clarke.
"That would make the 2030 World Cup the next one a European nation might be able to host and not before. Anyone suggesting otherwise is acting disrespectfully to our global game and does not speak for the English FA."
(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Toby Davis)