By Alex Miller
at the Leaders in Football Conference, London
6 October 2010
England’s 2018 World Cup bid leader insisted today that the bid had recovered from the troubles it faced earlier in the campaign and delivered a confident assessment of the chances of winning the rights to host the tournament.
Speaking at the Leaders in Football Conference here at Stamford Bridge, bid CEO Andy Anson shared a platform with the CEOs of the Iberian, Russian and Dutch/Belgium bids and said that with eight weeks to go until Fifa makes its decision, the England bid had recovered from the loss of bid chairman Lord Triesman and that England “was well and truly in the race and where we wanted to be”.
Outlining what had been the two biggest challenges to the bid, Anson said: “For six months before Lord Triesman left, our bid we had been on a firm footing, but we believe we have now got to a stronger place than ever. We have fantastic stadiums and the other challenge for us is to put on a spectacular show and leave a lasting legacy.”
Anson added that the England bid had learned a lot from this summer’s tournament in South Africa and believes that a World Cup in England would also be beneficial to countries across the world, through the creation of Football United – promoting social programmes and grass roots development that would begin immediately if England won.
Financial matters were also at the forefront of Anson’s mind. “The [new facility] costs will be zero,” he said.
“There are five new stadia that are being built anyway, regardless of whether we are successful, on top of the wonderful stadia we already have. The Premier League attendance levels are 94 per cent and the transport infrastructure is in place, including the crossrail project which will be completed in London ahead of the 2012 Olympics. Any costs will be borne by the host cities.
“We completed an economic study that showed £3.2bn would be generated for hosting the tournament, which would be shared by the host cities and for Fifa, we believe England is the best place to make money through broadcasting, hospitality, merchandising and attendance”.
The former England striker Gary Lineker added his weight to the cause. “Economically, England would be a safe pair of hands,” he said. “All the rival bids could run us close, but we have so much in place, the list is endless.
“We would make money, no question – a tournament here would be hugely prosperous. We surely have as good a chance as anybody and with the government hugely behind the bid, we hope to persuade the 23 or 24 good men and true”.
Next week the Fifa president Sepp Blatter will meet Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron in London to discuss the bid and the PM today again reiterated the government’s support for the bid. Last week Blatter met David Beckham in Trinidad, where Beckham travelled in his role as ambassador for the bid.
Bidding for 2018 and 2022
Bidding for 2022 only
South Korea http://www.korea2022.org/
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