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'We can be incredibly positive' - Minister Chambers on 2030 World Cup bid

Minister of State for Sport Jack Chambers also condemned the controversial photo of Gordon Elliott.

A general view of the FIFA World Cup Trophy.
A general view of the FIFA World Cup Trophy.
Image: PA

MINISTER OF STATE for Sport Jack Chambers says a “major events division” has been established in the Department for Sport to aid the joint bid with the UK to host the 2030 Fifa World Cup.

It was announced last night that a joint bid from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland to host the 2030 World Cup has received support from the UK government, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying it is the “right time” to “bring football home”.

A feasibility study is under way and will continue before the formal bidding process begins next year.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Chambers said the Irish government’s experience of a recent bid to host the Rugby World Cup will be beneficial as the feasibility process begins.

“We’ve a major events division in the department of sports which emanated from the debates, which was made for the Rugby World Cup. We had budget allocation of €6million last year for this. And we’ll be purposing a significant amount of that into our engagement and collaboration with the British government.

“The exact amount that’s required in terms of the feasibility process is being worked through but we won’t be found wanting when it comes to putting our best foot forward and to hold the feasibility and viability process of this bid. I think it’s something that we can be incredibly positive about. 

“We’ve obviously significant experience from the Rugby World Cup bid and we’ll also work with the Football Associations in trying to work the logistics, the economic benefits and trying to bring something of this scale to our shores.” 

He also stated that various GAA stadia outside of Dublin would be utilised as part of the bid.

“We’d need obviously significant cooperation and there is great cooperation anyway between the different governing bodies of sport. And that’s why as I’ve said the feasibility process is so important. You have to work through the various stadia, you also have to bring regional benefits into such a bid.

“I think all towns and cities across north and south will want to have an input and involvement in this. So that’s the type of work now that will be ongoing. As I said we have time on our side for this to progress and advance the detail about the feasibility work. You’ve mentioned some of the stadia there.

“That’s the type of work know that will have to go through detailed feasibility as well as working with the British government on what stadia they’ll be putting forward.”

Meanwhile, Chambers said he was “shocked, appalled and horrified” by the recent photograph that emerged of Gordon Elliott on social media.

With investigation into the incident underway by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board, Chambers says Elliot “has to be held fully accountable for his actions.”

“It showed a complete and profound error of judgement and it was really disturbing from an animal welfare persepective.

“I think everyone across the country and even internationally who saw that photo was shocked and I think he has to be held fully accountable for his actions.

“I know there is an investigation by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board but it is important from an Irish perspective that we have the highest welfare standards and someone myself who grew up with animals and I think anyone, whether they did or they didn’t, was shocked by that and I think consequences are important. He needs to be held fully accountable.”

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When asked if Elliott should potentially be banned from the sport, Chambers replied: “I think everything should be on the table. I think Ireland has to set a high bar when it comes to animal standards.

“We’re talking about a dead horse here and I found everything that has been said so far doesn’t explain what everybody saw.

“I was really, really disturbed by it and I think there has to be full follow through and everything should be on the table to make sure there’s accountability and a high bar set for anyone who wants to work with animals in this country.”

Screenshot 2020-11-24 at 9.04.07 AM

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Kevin O'Brien

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