So what about hosting an “all islands” World Cup tournament (with up to 12 games in Ireland)?

This looks to me like a good idea…

The Irish Times reports:

Minister for Arts, Tourism and Sport Catherine Martin said: “This is an exciting possibility, but we are still in the very early stages of assessing how, and if, this major global tournament could be part-hosted by our nation.

“Feasibility studies will continue with our partners to assess the viability of a bid, and we look forward to further extensive engagement and collaboration as we seek to refine our hosting proposals in the coming months and years.”

The Department said it would “continue with sporting partners to assess the viability of a prospective bid. In the first instance this will involve contributing to a capability assessment of stadia as well as a number of other criteria to help determine whether the return ultimately justifies Ireland’s participation in the bid. [Emphasis added]

Liking for the grand projet is certainly in Boris Johnson’s form book as something he enjoys, if not something he has himself initiated: the London Olympics were the product of his wonky predecessor Ken Livingstone.

Co-ordination both across the island and the Irish Sea on something like this could be a huge fillip to the economies of all parts, and a much needed bridging of social tensions which have been allowed to get away from us all in recent years.

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern:

“It’s not easy to get. The English FA have gone through this twice since [hosting] their ’66 World Cup and in spite of the fact that that was seen, in another generation, as being a very successful World Cup, they’ve failed in the bid[s],” he told Newstalk Radio, before listing off other potentially interested countries.

“The one I would fear as the outsider maybe at this stage, but president Xi in China. One of his big ambitions is to get the World Cup to China. He is putting a lot of investment into soccer, football, in China.”

Mr Ahern said he was confident the GAA would make Croke Park available in the Republic, alongside the Aviva.

2018-06-23_16-44-11_ILCE-6500_DSC07475_DxO” by miguel.discart is licensed under CC BY-SA