In recent comments, Greg Dyke, the FA Chairman, suggested that England were considering bidding for the 2026 World Cup. It appears that any bid would hinge on the influence of the FIFA British vice-president (yes, Britain gets it's own vice-president in FIFA. Inventing the sport and what-not, I suppose). Said vp, David Gill of England, was voted in on March 24th and will take the place of Northern Ireland's Jim Boyce. (Incidentally, the election came with some controversy, specifically from the Football Association of Wales.) With an Englishman in one of the senior FIFA positions, the FA are hoping they will be able to have a smooth and straightforward bid.
However, there is one condition. Sepp Blatter can't still be running FIFA. Chairman Dyke explicitly stated
- we don't bid while Mr. Blatter's there.
While a number of candidates have emerged for the FIFA presidency (including actual retired player, Luis Figo), Sepp Blatter is expected to win yet another term.
In any case, it does not seem to be clear that England would even be allowed to bid on the 2026 World Cup. Current bidding rules restrict which confederations can host based on the last 2 tournaments. The 2022 World Cup will be held by Qatar, an Asian country, while the 2018 World Cup will be hosted by Russia, a fellow UEFA member. With the current rules, Russia would block any other European nation from hosting, including England. At the earliest, England would be able to host the 2030 World Cup. At the moment, Canada, Mexico, and Colombia have shown interest in lodging a bid for the 2026 World Cup, though it is unlikely that Mexico would win the rights to host a third World Cup.
England, who last hosted the World Cup in 1966 (which they won), bid on both the 2006 and 2018 World Cups. Both bids ended in disaster, with England eliminated early in the voting process, losing out to Germany and Russia, respectfully.