By Nick Harris
14 May 2010
England’s bid for the right to stage the 2018 World Cup was blessed with the stardust that is David Beckham in Zurich today as the nine bid teams seeking the 2018 and/or 2022 events began the push in earnest to win the game’s biggest prize from Fifa.
Beckham, who looks increasingly likely to be involved with the England contingent at this summer’s World Cup in South Africa, handed over England’s 1,752-page bid book to Fifa’s president, Sepp Blatter.
Details of England’s bid, and related pledges for a global legacy, can be read in full here but the English bid team is realistic enough to know cash matters to Fifa, so England is vowing to deliver “the highest ever commercial revenues for Fifa” from a World Cup.
More details will be known in time but for starters, England 2018’s revenue projections estimate a proposed minimum ticket income of £602m ($897m) and an in-stadium hospitality profit of £268m ($400m).
Nine candidates want to stage either the 2018 World Cup or the 2022 event and their official websites are all linked below. Three nations are bidding solely for 2022: Japan, Qatar and South Korea. Six groups are nominally bidding for both events: Australia, England, Netherlands-Belgium jointly, Russia, Spain-Portugal jointly, and the USA.
Australia presented its bid book first, offering a 750-page tome, before Beckham led the English delegation up next. Johan Cruyff delivered the Dutch bid on a bicycle.
Britain’s new Prime Minister, David Cameron, has already called Blatter to voice his support for the England bid, and Blatter described England as “the motherland of football.”
Nothing should be read into Blatter’s praise or otherwise, of course. He praises everyone. The Isle of Wight could launch a bid and get a pat from Sepp.
The 24-man Fifa Executive Committee will vote in December to pick the venues for 2018 and 2022. Speculation is rife that before then, Blatter will make it known that 2018 is a European race and 2022 is a non-European race. This has not been explicitly stated yet, but Blatter gave the biggest hint yet that it will be the case by laughing about the inclusion of “2022” on European bid books.
The books contain detailed information on everything from stadiums to hotels, ticketing, media arrangements and legacy plans. The ExCo will vote for on the hosts on 2 December in Zurich.
Beckham has confirmed he hopes to join England’s party in a coaching role this summer, saying today: “I’ve spoken to the manager and [Fabio Capello’s assistant] Franco Baldini and they have made it well aware that I have a role to play with the players and the team.
“We have not discussed specifics but I’m honoured that a manager of Fabio’s status feels I can be important. I am hoping to travel with the team.”
Bidding for 2018 and 2022
Bidding for 2022 only
South Korea http://www.korea2022.org/