Outside the Box: Wales tackle England for Under-21 games

Having failed humiliatingly with their bid for the 2018 World Cup, the Football Association will discover this week the fate of a rather lower-profile campaign for the Uefa Under-21 finals to take place in the summer of 2013.

Intriguingly, Wales are among the four other countries in contention, along with Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Israel. As Uefa prefer a tightly-knit geographical tournament, the FA have put forward Derby County, the two Nottingham grounds, Chesterfield and Shrewsbury as venues. Wales would use Cardiff City, Swansea City, Llanelli RFC and Newport County and are particularly keen for the prestige and funds associated with staging an international tournament (see below).

It would suit England well to win as they would not have to qualify and could use next season under Stuart Pearce as preparation for the Olympic football tournament with an Under-23 side.

Queuing up to host the ladies

What scope there will be for shenanigans at the start of March when Sepp Blatter and his much-maligned Fifa executive committee announce the venues for no fewer than seven tournaments. Four of them are youth competitions – the World Cups of 2013 and 2015 at Under-17 and Under-20 level – and three are women's events, including the 2015 World Cup for which Canada and Zimbabwe are bidding.

Wales, alone of the home countries, are among 14 different bidders for the various events, in their case the two youth World Cups of 2015. They are up against Chile, Tunisia and Russia for the first; New Zealand, Peru and Tunisia in the older age-group. The most sought-after event, however, is the other women's event, the Under-17 World Cup of 2014, with six bidders: Costa Rica, Ghana, Macedonia, Russia, UAE and Uzbekistan.

Uruguay to stage 2030 finals?

With the venues for 2018 and 2022 settled, even longer-term planning is kicking in. Canada are considering a bid for the 2026 World Cup and there is discussion too about the centenary tournament of 2030, which Uruguay, the hosts in 1930, have expressed an interest in staging.

They could have rivals from Asia, as last week the Association of South-East Asian Nations raised the possibility of a joint bid that could involve any number of their members. Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam have jointly staged the Asian Cup in the past and Indonesia were contenders for 2022 until withdrawing before the vote. Once the hosts are decided, to-ing and fro-ing about how many entries each confederation receives can begin.

The ubiquitous Jack Warner, Concacaf president, wants an extra place for the region at Brazil in 2014 because of their performances "on the field and off it". At present the north and central American region has three places plus one play-off, but they want four.

s.tongue@independent.co.uk; www.twitter.com/@stevetongue

Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Diana from the Great British Bake Off 2014
tvProducers confirm contestant left because of illness
News
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly married in secret on Saturday
peopleSpokesperson for couple confirms they tied the knot on Saturday after almost a decade together
Sport
footballLive: Latest news from Champions League draw
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?