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

News
The cartoon depicts the UK (far left) walking around a Syrian child refugee
newsIn an exclusive artwork for The Independent, Ali Ferzat attacks Britain's lack of 'humanity'
Life and Style
Man taking selfie in front of car
health
Sport
footballManager attacks Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp after criticism of Diego Costa's apparent stamping
Life and Style
food + drink
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

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore