The four British nations — England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — are conducting a feasibility study with Ireland about whether to bid. But they could face opposition from within Europe as Spain and Portugal consider a joint bid.
There is also a coalition of South American countries pushing ahead with a bid: Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile. Qatar was given 12 years to prepare for hosting the 2022 World Cup after a vote in 2010.
The 2026 World Cup is being jointly staged by the United States, Canada and Mexico after they were chosen last year by the FIFA Congress. FIFA's next big World Cup vote comes in May when the council decides the destination of the 2023 women's tournament.
The eight countries interested are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and South Korea. They must file detailed bid plans for the first 32-team tournament by Dec. 13.
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