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The numbers behind 2018

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David Bond | 16:23 UK time, Thursday, 13 May 2010

England will promise to deliver Fifa the most profitable World Cup in their history when they present their bid to stage the 2018 tournament on Friday.

The pledge is one of the key messages contained in the 1,752-page bid book which will be presented to the Fifa president Sepp Blatter by former England captain David Beckham.

I am with England 2018 chief executive Andy Anson and other members of the bid team as the book makes its way to Fifa headquarters in Zurich on flight BA 714.

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As we took off from Heathrow on a specially branded jet complete with a nose cone painted as a football, Anson told me the English game's commercial success would be one of the strongest arguments for bringing the World Cup back to England for the first time since 1966.

"The English football market is the most successful in the world and we are sure we will generate more money for Fifa than South Africa this summer and Brazil in 2014," said Anson.

What does that mean in numbers?

As I wrote in my blog from Johannesburg earlier this week, South Africa 2010 will already break all previous records, netting Fifa £2.1bn in TV and sponsorship alone.

But England 2018 estimates they can increase that income by a third, taking it to near the £3bn mark.

On top of that, Anson revealed they expect to make more than £600m from the sale of tickets during the tournament. That money goes to the host country rather than Fifa, which means the World Cup could even make a profit for the English organisers.

Jerome Valcke, the general secretary of Fifa, has made it clear to all bidders that the world game's governing body does not want countries putting their finances under pressure as governments feel the squeeze following the economic downturn.

Jeremy Hunt, the new secretary of state for Culture, Media, Sport and the Olympics, signalled on BBC's Newsnight on Wednesday that no part of his department would be immune to cuts.

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But the World Cup bid should be immune from any fallout here for two reasons:

1. The only public commitment from the former Labour government was a £2.5m loan.

2. If England's bid is successful, then the government has agreed to provide guarantees worth £300m while each of the 12 host cities included in the bid have underwritten guarantees worth £400m.

England's bid team will also argue that the government (whatever combination of colours it is by 2018) will not have to spend money developing new stadiums as only four new grounds - Tottenham, Liverpool, Bristol and Nottingham - are included in the long list of 17. Each of those new stadiums are being developed with limited public money.

The commitment of David Cameron's new coalition government to sport will be interesting to assess in the coming weeks.

Cameron is known to be on side with the bid (his media adviser and former News of the World editor Andy Coulson is a keen Spurs fan and close to members of the 2018 team) while the Conservatives were making it clear, in the run-up to the general election, that the World Cup campaign was one of two priorities, along with the 2012 Olympics.

England's bid book is also expected to include key details on the supporter experience, with plans for family-only fan parks and a commitment to make a certain amount of tickets available at cheaper prices.

Expect the bid, which has not had the smoothest of rides, to also contain a series of pledges on financial assistance for football grass roots projects around the world.

Fifa has invited all the countries bidding for 2018 and 2022 - Russia, Spain and Portugal, USA, Australia, Qatar, Holland and Belgium, Japan and Korea - to submit their bid books on Friday. It is a key moment but the contents of each technical bid are far more important than the presentation.

No potential host will earn any extra points for speeches during the handover or flying the World's most famous footballer into Switzerland.

These campaigns ultimately rely on two things: a sound technical bid; and an ability to cut the right political deal with each of the 24 members of the Fifa executive committee who will make their decision in December.

The accepted wisdom is that the race for 2018 is between Europe and 2022 between Qatar, USA and Australia (Japan and Korea of course staged it in 2002).

England's focus on the financial benefits of their bid is designed to not only offer Fifa a less risky World Cup after South Africa and Brazil but to highlight less stable rivals such as Spain/Portugal and Russia.

But, as the bid now moves into a more intensive period of glad-handing and political dealmaking, none of that will count for anything if England do not get the lobbying right over the next few months.


  • Comment number 1.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    It would be brilliant if we could get the World Cup in England again. It is the sort of thing that only really happens once in your lifetime and 54 years between each one is long enough I think.

  • Comment number 4.

    I think we'll get this one.

    Lets just hope the 2012 Olympics go to plan.

  • Comment number 5.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 6.

    All agreed except for your description of the Brazilian world cup as (financially) risky. Brazil is an emerging economy, the football industry is not awash with cash like the premier league or la liga but that is due to the lack of foreign investment. Take the Russians, Arabs and Americans out of the premier league and it would be a whole different story. A government backed Brazil world cup will be very successful.

  • Comment number 7.

    Of course it wold be great for the world cup to come to England, especially with Sheffield being one of the poterntial venues! Regardless of the money factor, it would be hugely exciting to see world cup football, in the city home to the worlds oldest football club.

  • Comment number 8.

    Sorry but I beg to differ with your assesment of the premier league Mr Fingers. The thing that is driving the finances is Sky tv, it does not matter who owns the clubs, indeed two of the biggest who have US owners are in serious financial difficulty, despite what the spin may have you believe.

  • Comment number 9.

    to number 4 it doesn't matter how the olympics go, we'll know if we get the wc by xmas 2010.

    to number 5 i dont think a football nosecone on a plane will break the budget.

    my only problem with us bidding for the wc is fifa are already trying to pressure us to stop getting all wc matches on free to air tv, they agree we should get home nation games on tv but they want the right to sell other games like portugal v brazil to sky, if there was a game between two poor teams in a group that didnt matter to anyone then nobody would buy the rights and thus nobody would see the game at all, fifa make out they want to grow the game but things like this makes it obvious the only thing they want to grow is their bank accounts!

    if england does host the 2018 wc you can be sure you wont be watching upto 3 games a day on bbc and itv like in previous years.

    i also think the 3 billion income will be more like 4bn come 2018 depending largely if alcohol can be sponsors.

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    England have everything in place to put the World Cup on tomorrow, plus not hosting it since 1966 should mean we get more of a chance since Spain held it in '82. USA only held in 1994 and Japan/Korea in 2002 so i don't reckon they should get it. Seems like Fifa want it in Europe so hopefully USA & Japan/Korea ruled out.

  • Comment number 12.

    I think it makes sense for the WC to come to England - its where football was born. I think some of our stadia would need to hold more though.

  • Comment number 13.

    It is abundantly clear that Fifa does not care, in reality, about much other than their accounts. It should invest all profit into grass roots football, and be independently assessed by another body to see where its money is going. For example, I suspect Blatter will be treated better than most kings or world leaders in South Africa.

    It is their greed that suggests that 2018 is a straight fight between us and oil-and-gas-rich Russia.

    Since we are English, I suspect that even though we 'deserve' it, and are the most well-eqipped country in the world to host a world cup, Blatter and his cronies will give it to Russia.

  • Comment number 14.

    England's bid should be the favourite - not only because of the infrastructure and finances or even because it will have been 52 years since they last hosted it, but because the UK is where the game was invented. England deserve it - and I'm Scottish....

  • Comment number 15.

    I see no other outcome (unless, as widely speculated, money talks with FIFA officials and other countries are prepared to sacrifice their morality) other than an English 2018 world cup.

    Then open your eyes, if you can't see Russia getting it (they can throw billions at the stadia and transport and have never had it before).

  • Comment number 16.

    to number 4 it doesn't matter how the olympics go, we'll know if we get the wc by xmas 2010.

    Actually I see 2012 as a big disadvantage.

    FIFA will have to award the cup before then as you say, full in the knowledge that if 2012 does go wrong in any way then they will immediately be accused of making a mistake. Indeed 2012 has the potential to embarrass not just the UK but FIFA also and they may well consider just staying away from it.

  • Comment number 17.

    I can't imagine on what basis they can give a world cup to Russia, apart from the lure of money, but seriously FIFA will make more money than they know where to put it from the marketing and merchandising of a world cup in England. Back in 1966, marketing and branding was barely in the embryonic stage of what it has turned into now, so imagine how easy it would be to sell a world cup here to tourists and football fans. Euro 1996 was a huge success too.

    Spain is too recent, USA too and Australia can concentrate on 2022.

    Russia has no long standing football heritage, not many good stadiums and few really modern stadiums, uses fake plastic pitches, is hopelessly corrupt and unfriendly to tourists and will be hard to get round. Are all the matches going to be in 2 or 3 cities, because the distances will make South Africa look like the Vatican City.

  • Comment number 18.

    Good article...David. One of your better ones :-)
    I do hope England get it, but I agree with some of the sentiments above: Russia + Money = 2018!

    As for #5 - Will we see you on the picket line later this month :-)

  • Comment number 19.

    Russia it will be then. i am sure all the oil/gas rich billionaires know which palms to grease. Oh and a bit of back up if they fail to see things "from our point of view".

  • Comment number 20.

    The problems that Russia cannot overcome are similar to South Africa-logistics of distance and accomodation. As a seasoned traveller in Russia, it is still a difficult country to navigate and find reasonably priced hotels.
    Much of football is concentrated within Moscow and St Petersburg. Name some the Russian teams-Spartak, Lokomotiv, CSKA, Dinamo, Torpedo, FK are all Moscow based. The distance between the two major hubs Moscow and St. Petersburg is 700km-which can take 5-9 hours by train. The main highway is mostly two lane and not an easy drive.
    There are many questions I would have for the Russian bid. They could do a great Olympics, but a World Cup requires stadiums spread out across the country. The facts are most of the population, would be over 100 miles from any game. Outside the two big cities, there is a lack of stadia.

    I love Russia, but I don't think it would be a great World Cup to attend.

  • Comment number 21.

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  • Comment number 22.

    I think it really sums up the state of the game today when all we can do tempt FIFA to award us the World Cup is promising them the most money! It's almost akin to bribery. FIFA's only interest seems to be to line their own pockets.
    Why else would they consider Russia above England? We're talking about a country whose top football club (Zenit St Petersberg) have a club policy of not recruiting black footballers because it will infuriate their supporters. And that's coming from Dick Advocaat, the club's former manager. Imagine a top English club having such a policy. FIFA would ban the entire England national team if that was the case.
    England is the birthplace of modern football, we have among the best stadia and facilities in the world and are home to the best league in world football. We have a multiracial society that is tolerant of other ethnicities and cultures. We are among the most popular destination for tourists because of our welcoming nature. Meanwhile Russia has a high rate of racially motivated attacks, even though proportionately they have far fewer non-white, non-slavic people than Western European countries.
    It would be outrageous to award the World Cup to Russia over England. But money talks and we couldn't possibly offer FIFA the riches the Russian oligarchs can offer.

  • Comment number 23.

    In all respects England has to be the most logical host, dual bids are a poor idea and Russias bid is reliant on a few cities futher apart than Lands End and Berwick-upon-Tweed.
    We already have some of the finest stadia in the world with only a few new ones to be built.
    We understand how to host giant events at multiple venues.
    Once Brazil has hosted in 2014 we will be the only 'powerhouse' not to have hosted the event since colour tv came in.
    There would be less travel for fans and teams than most other bids.
    We will make the most money.
    Most importantly, it's about time the inventors of the sport, the country with the most footballing history was given the chance again, so that football can truly come home.

    Then again, it will probably go to whoever offers the highest incentives (another word beginning with 'B' is more apt, but likely to provoke the mods) to those who actually make the decision.

  • Comment number 24.

    Great article . Interesting . I think Spain & portugal can give England competition for 2018 bid .

  • Comment number 25.

    Russia will win the bid. Simple.

    Look at Sochi, this place is remote, and bordering dangerous areas, yet somehow scores the winter Olympics. I wonder how they managed that!

    Russia is not only a logistical nightmare, but trying to buy train tickets from mean faced babushkas is not very easy. Most of the people you come across don't speak English, and those that do can often be reluctant to use it. Once you know a Russian, then you will realise what hospitable, warm people they are, but you have to get through their steely exterior!

    I love Russia by the way and have visited many times, but its often a tiring experience. The cops will have a field day bribing the tourits in Red Square.

    #22 Oh and St Petersburg are by no means the 'biggest club' in Russia. They have won the league once in 26 years! But yes, this is their policy not to employ black players. Russia's society is incredibly racist. So is Spain/Portugal. But this wont count to FIFA, even though they talk a good game about kicking racism out of football, they never follow through.

  • Comment number 26.

    Yeah I agree, good blog.

    It’s interesting the financial tact the bid team are using to try and seal the deal and expose other rivals. I agree with a few of the above posters that this could well be England’s big chance. I also can’t see past Australia for 2022. Probably shouldn’t start handing out handbags again though.

  • Comment number 27.

    The ones who'll decide the host for 2018:

    Sepp Blatter, Switzerland (age 73)
    Mercurial, controversial ... but the Fifa president has the ultimate power over England’s bid to stage the 2018 World Cup.
    Possible vote: unknown

    Michel Platini, France (54)
    Uefa president and regular critic of Barclays Premier League’s riches. Knows the premium value of a World Cup in England, though, and might give his blessing.
    Possible vote: England

    Julio Humberto Grondona, Argentina (78)
    South American football grandee, 30 years as president of the Argentine association, Blatter’s senior vice-president.
    Possible vote: Spain and Portugal

    Reynald Temarii, Tahiti (42)
    President of Oceania Football Confederation. The vote of the new Fifa vice-president could be up for grabs.
    Possible vote: Australia or England

    Chung Mong Joon, South Korea (58)
    Businessman and politician. Fifa vice-president keen on football philanthropy, so might be impressed by the FA’s global charity work.
    Possible vote: England

    Geoff Thompson, England (64)
    Former FA chairman, now a 2018 bid board member and a Fifa vice-president. A canny politician behind the closed doors of football’s ruling elite.
    Possible vote: England

    Issa Hayatou, Cameroon (63)
    Nineteen-year term on Fifa executive and key official in African football circles. Will want FA to keep pushing its programme of football aid in Africa.
    Possible vote: England

    Michel D’Hooghe, Belgium (63)
    President of Club Bruges, he could be swayed if the bid from Belgium-Netherlands drops out in the first round.
    Possible vote: Belgium and the Netherlands

    Jack Warner, Trinidad & Tobago (66)
    Infamous Fifa vice-president and powerful president of Concacaf angered by bad publicity in England.
    Possible vote: anyone but England

    Ricardo Terra Teixeira, Brazil (62)
    The president of the Brazilian confederation is likely to want Portugal to inherit from Brazil four years on.
    Possible vote: Spain and Portugal

    Ángel María Villar Llona, Spain (59)
    President of the Spanish FA, so has his mind made up. If that bid fails at first hurdle, might favour England.
    Possible vote: Spain and Portugal

    Mohamed bin Hammam, Qatar (60)
    Powerful voice, leading growth of Asian football. England on alert that he will be looking for support for Qatar for 2022.
    Possible vote: England

    Senes Erzik, Turkey (age 67)
    Honorary president of the Turkish FA, with fond memories of Euro ’96 in England. One for England to convince.
    Possible vote: unknown

    Marios Lefkaritis, Cyprus (62)
    Business entrepeneur and honorary president of Cypriot FA with a passion for football. No allegiances, so ready to be persuaded by bid candidates.
    Possible vote: unknown

    Chuck Blazer, United States (64)
    General secretary of Concacaf, of which Jack Warner is president, so will need wooing away from Warner’s anti-England position.
    Possible vote: US

    Jacques Anouma, Ivory Coast (57)
    President of Ivorian FA who could bring an open mind to voting. Could go with an African bloc vote, though, which might favour England.
    Possible vote: England

    Worawi Makudi, Thailand (57)
    Has served 12 years on Fifa executive and, as general secretary of Thai FA, could be swayed towards Japan’s case to support his region.
    Possible vote: Japan

    Franz Beckenbauer, Germany (64)
    Football’s so-called “Kaiser”, Germany’s World Cup hero and statesman. Known to be a strong supporter of a World Cup in England.
    Possible vote: England

    Nicolás Léoz, Paraguay (81)
    Oldest member of the executive and long-serving figure in Central American football. Likely to join the Hispanic bloc in plumping for the Spain-Portugal bid.
    Possible vote: Spain-Portugal

    Rafael Salguero, Guatemala (62)
    Another Concacaf member who could be influenced by Warner, but is more likely to be part of the Hispanic bloc vote.
    Possible vote: Spain-Portugal

    Junji Ogura, Japan (71)
    With Japan likely to drop out of the running early, England will hope to cash in on his love of Sir Bobby Charlton and Manchester United.
    Possible vote: Japan

    Hany Abou Rida, Egypt (56)
    Businessman and member of the African federation and Egyptian FA. Not known to support any bid, but could be sympathetic to England.
    Possible vote: unknown

    Amos Adamu, Nigeria (56)
    Former teacher and sports administrator, now Nigeria’s director of sports development, so will be well acquainted with FA’s overseas footballing missions.
    Possible vote: England

    Vitaliy Mutko, Russia (50)
    First president of the Russian Premier League, now the country’s Minister for Sport. Big hitter in Russian football, also behind the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
    Possible vote: Russia

  • Comment number 28.

    I think a balanced article which does lead to the conclusion that it is England v. Russia for 2018. I agree with what many have said about Russia: Distances, Infrastructure, Corruption and social issues are all potential problems while exceedingly strong (quasi-dictatorial) government meaning a clarity of communication and huge quantities of petro-roubles make it our biggest rival.

    I would like England to have promised more in spreading money and resources around Football in the developing world but I remain confident that pushing the right buttons of money, ease of hosting and heritage will win out. After all FIFA like to ensure maximum return for the minimum amount of effort, don't we all??!

  • Comment number 29.

    If we were to get it would we play all our games at Wembley or would we play at different venues enabling fans from all over the country to watch England.

    We could play our group games at Wembley, Old Trafford and St James Park, the last 16 at Villa Park and then our last game back at Wembley.

    Just a thought.

  • Comment number 30.


    Chuck Blazer?

    Anyone with this name is quite obviously the most American person ever and therefore should have no rightful place on any committee deciding on the venue for a World Cup

  • Comment number 31.

    While England has the infrastructure, enthusiasm and fans to host a great world cup.

    FIFA always look to push the boundaries and Russia is a country where there seems to still be potential for expansion - England is at saturation point.

    There is also a case for Spain and Portugal to support 'the best league in the world' and also help Portugal out of the hole they dug in hosting the Euro's at the same time.

    The ways of FIFA are weird and not so wonderful....

  • Comment number 32.

    I don't think we will be favourites for 2018. Our biggest issue is the lack of space around many of the grounds nominated to host the matches.

    FIFA want space, ironically, not for the fans, but for the so-called executive sponsors, and corporate ticket holders. Corporate hospitality is a massive incentive for the global brands that sponsor the world cup, and whilst most grounds have executive boxes, many of the grounds on the bid list do not have enough facilities around the stadia to support the thousands of hospitality packages per match that they can sell.

    At the moment I think there is more of a chance of Liverpool and Everton ground sharing than there is of our winning the 2018 bid.

  • Comment number 33.

    I cannot see how England's bid, including stadia like Plymouth, Milton Keynes, and Hillsborough can succeed. I think it will go to Russia, where it's never been held before.

    However, if it does, it will be twice in my lifetime, provided I live that long (I'll be 78 in 2018). During the 1966 World Cup, I was on the Sheff Wed groundstaff, and had the honour of sitting with the West German team during the quarter finals at Hillsbrough, against Uruguay.

  • Comment number 34.

    All the best wishes to land the WC 2018 for your country!

  • Comment number 35.

    Can't believe the money being spent on yet another campaign to win hosting a World Cup that's still 8 to 12 years away. Who knows what the World will be like that far in the future? If it's case of giving countries time to prepare..give them out for the next 50-100 years and stop all this bidding nonsense, taking out corruption and back-handers at the same time.. It would give countries ages to plan stadia and infrastructure and would definately save us some money from bidding each time!

  • Comment number 36.

    It would be nice to see the World Cup back again (I remember the 1966 one!), but given the profitability of the event I see no reason for any public money whatsoever to be spent on it. If you can promise FIFA that their cut of the profits will be near £3bn, surely you can get a bank loan...

    Hope some of the proceeds feeds back to the grassroots and to disability football, especially the developing Down Syndrome squads.

  • Comment number 37.

    Do we really want the World Cup,can we afford it after the huge cost of staging the Olympics ? The cost of bringing any event of this kind is enormous, even to just enter a bid let alone the cost of getting well known names on board.I agree with the above comment and give out the nations allotted to hold the World Cup over the next twenty to thirty years at least so as all this expensive and totally wasteful promotion stuff can be done away with.Any big event these days is over expensive and costs more than is feasable,and ask yourself do we need another football event here,goodness there's already more than enough of the game on anyway.

  • Comment number 38.

    If FIFA want to go for the least risky option, perhaps they should go for the USA, which must be the only country with all the other stadia and other infrastructure in place.

  • Comment number 39.

    Choosing England for 2018 makes the most sense, which means that FIFA will certainly pick someone else. I think it'll be Russia.

  • Comment number 40.

    Here we go again, why does the world think everyone is interested in football, there are many like myself who dislike football but get it rammed down there throats at every opportunity.

  • Comment number 41.

    The only reason we have not got the right to host all these years we have bidded is our perceived arrogance by these other nations. We must then climb down from our high horse and try to get the lobbying right this time.

    Assuming we'll get all the African votes automatically is laughable. While Russia lobbies and wooos are we going to just stroll around safe in the belief that everyone should recognise a superior bid? This attitude of always assuming (wrongly it usually turns out)that we are favourites must be the first thing to go!

  • Comment number 42.

    Ireland, Scotland and wales joint bid.

  • Comment number 43.

    It shouldn’t even need debate that England should be awarded the 2018 World Cup. Other than the fact that we are the most passionate football country in the world (other than maybe Brazil – the lack of Spanish, Italian and French fans at major tournaments shows that they aren’t in the same league as England and Brazil in this respect), have by far-and-away the best stadia, and invented the game (and have been starved of hosting a World Cup for what will be over 50 years), we are logistically in a position to host a World Cup tomorrow.

    South Africa is hosting the World Cup in four weeks time and we are light years ahead of them. I am travelling to South Africa four weeks tomorrow and following England (and other matches) from a base in Johannesburg. Firstly, the accommodation situation in South Africa is a disgrace. Literally all of the hotels in the host cities were booked up over a year before the tournament – we had to make do with a guest house prices at over £300 a night, per room, which were cheap compared to most places we looked at. English cities are awash with hotels and are used to holding numerous huge events. There is literally no public transport in South Africa. To travel between cities, it is either a 12 hour plus drive, coach or train journey or a flight – and our flights between Joburg and PE/Cape Town cost us £400 each with a budget airline. There is also absolutely no safe means of travelling around big cities like Joburg and the only option is to use park and rides to get to the stadia, the plans of which are still sketchy just a month before the tournament – compare this to major English cities tube, tram and bus systems.

    Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait to get out to South Africa – the stadia and country looks great, and the enthusiasm of the people is special. However, hopefully, if Fifa actually look at the transport system, logistics, accommodation etc. that they’ll see in South Africa compared to England, they’ll realise that we are light years ahead and more than ready for 2018 (as well as being more deserving than any one else).

    As for the other countries, there are reasons why all of them are inferior to England, in my view:

    Russia – corruption, poor infrastructure/transport, stadia not up to scratch, distances.

    Spain and Portugal – The only other serious bid, but joint bids should never be considered. A footballing country like Spain really should be able to host a World Cup on its own. Blatter has come out against joint bids before, but am sure that he’ll change his tune now!)

    USA – only hosted a poor World Cup 16 years ago. No passion for football from the majority of the population. They have not even got the respect to call “football” by its real name.

    Australia – Take away the “only hosted a poor World Cup 16 years ago”, then as per USA, plus, as per Russia, distances, their stadia are not up to scratch (for football) – I fear that they may just use cricket grounds like they do for rugby, which just isn’t on.

    Qatar – Again, not a football country. I’m sure with their money the stadia and infrastructure would be good. However, I have heard that if it goes to Qatar, the World Cup would be “dry”. Whilst I am not an advocate of drunken loutishness, a few beers before the match is traditionally part of football, and not accepting other people’s cultures (and football fans’ culture throughout the world) is not acceptable.

    Holland and Belgium – As per Spain, joint bids should not be allowed. As highlighted in Euro 2000, stadia and towns/cities are too small and not up to scratch and questions about policing.

    Japan and Korea - Should really be told that they are wasting their time bidding as hosted the World Cup in 2002. Also, should be ruled out as a joint bid.

  • Comment number 44.

    I hope the UK doesn't get it. Whenever there is a world cup you get drunken idiots every time causing mayhem. It is embarrassing seeing UK drunks abroad harassing other supporters. It will be much worse if it was here. Also who will pay for it? I bet the tax payer will be exposed to some of the infrastructure costs at a time when we are borrowing money just to pay the bills.

  • Comment number 45.

    I read somewhere (fairly certain it was the BBC) that FIFA are shying away from joint bids, taking the view that if a country isn't strong enough to hold it on its own (especially larger countries) then it shouldn't be hosting it all. If that's the case, as well as FIFA appearing to favour Europe this time around, I see it as a straight fight between us and Russia, providing the media gets behind the bid and stop uncovering gaffs among the bid committee!

  • Comment number 46.

    i think it would be great to host the Olympics & the World Cup within the same decade. i hope that people will really enjoy coming to this country in both years and want to come back.
    we need their money being spent in this country if we are ever going to shake off the huge debt (£170 billion more each year)and i think the two greatest sporting events in the world would be the best way forward.

  • Comment number 47.

    #40 what the hell are you doing on a web site discussion about it then!?!?

    Don't read it, simple as that.

  • Comment number 48.

    Surely Fifa should be investing in Grass roots Football and developing countries, rather than giving the World Cup to a country simply to make a huge profit........

  • Comment number 49.

    Surely we,ve already lost the chance of hosting it becasue of 100 people running on the pitch at a non league play off game and throwing a couple of plastic Oasis bottles about?Well that was according to Shaun Custis and Sky sports news anyway!!!

  • Comment number 50.

    JamTay1: That is why South Africa and Brazil are hosting the next two World Cups. After that I don't think it's unreasonable for a European nation to host it again, particularly England who haven't hosted for so long.

  • Comment number 51.

    It would be great for England to get the World Cup again, but equally great if a new country were to get it too - particularly ones with a passion for football. I would cut all those countries who have relatively recently hosted the cup: the US, Spain, Korea, Japan. I would cut out Qatar as I think culturally fans from Europe and the Americas would find the rules on alcohol etc difficult to stomach. To my mind that leaves Brazil - who as the leading football nation deserve a chance, Russia and...England. If Brazil's economy is considered too fragile to update their great stadia, then Russia ad the UK would be neck and neck. The only thing I would ask is FIFA consider fans a bit more than they did for South Africa. Great all these South African cities are hosting cup games, but little thought, if any, was given to fans having to go considerable distances between group games, let alone the latter stages of the competition & the considerable cost. So, if it is Russia, limit the bid to no more than 4 cities.

  • Comment number 52.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 53.

    Save 'Quotes of the Week'.

  • Comment number 54.

    Comments such as "we deserve it", "we’re the most passionate fans in the world", "we have the best infrastructure", "we invented football", etc. Only confirm the arrogant attitude that is often attributed to the English abroad. No country has a divine right to host it.

    The pros of hosting it in England would be: big profits for TV companies, FIFA and sponsors.

    The cons: exorbitant costs for the fans, crammed venues and hooliganism.

  • Comment number 55.

    I'd love nothing more than to see a World Cup hosted in England during my lifetime. I remember the buzz around the country and in the streets of London during Euro 96, and the atmosphere in Germany in 2006 was thrilling, not just around the stadiums, but everywhere you'd go, with people from all around the world.

    I agree that Russia is our biggest competitor, despite it's many logistical shortcomings, there'll be a lot of very rich people who will want to see it there. Spain and Portugal will have the powerful Latino vote behind them, but I think the fact that FIFA have decided they no longer like joint bids will go against them and Belgium/Holland.

    I just really, really hope we get it. The Olympics will be nice, but in terms of party atmosphere and excitement there's nothing like a big football tournament, and there's none bigger than this.

    I think Australia are a shoo-in for 2022, it's a country that suddenly sat up and took notice of the sport in 2006, and knowing FIFA are always keen to develop new territories, and too many of the others have held the tournament within recent years. Qatar's an outside bet, but I don't think it'll happen. I can definitely see FIFA seeing dollar signs and going for the US again, but Australia will probably be better for the game.

  • Comment number 56.

    @50 Smellslike salmon

    I'm not sure that Brazil can be called a developing Football nation, and by the time the World Cup is there it is more than feasible that they will have one of the fastest growing Economies in the world. I just don't see the benefit in having a World Cup in England, If Europe deserves another venue why not Russia?

  • Comment number 57.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 58.

    # 35 Can't believe the money being spent on yet another campaign to win hosting a World Cup that's still 8 to 12 years away. Who knows what the World will be like that far in the future?


    Hoverboards & flying delorians??

  • Comment number 59.

    If anyone has seen "Lie to me" with Tim Roth (based on real behavioural science) or has heard of the idea of micro-expressions where someone's true emotions leak out via facial expression, then have a look at the video of Becks and Blatter on this site.

    Specifically at 2mins 33sec the micro-expression commonly referred to as 'disgust' which is seen on Blatter's face exactly at the moment he quotes the word "passion" as talked about by Becks.

    Is this how Blatter really feels?

  • Comment number 60.

    SteveTreacle, comment 43 - Agree with everything you've said. Good points well made.
    In terms of our bid, Blatter is our biggest obstacle - the man is a fool and it's a barely disguised fact that he doesn't like England.

  • Comment number 61.

    @ 54 guyastral

    The pros of hosting it in England would be: big profits for TV companies, FIFA and sponsors.

    The cons: exorbitant costs for the fans, crammed venues and hooliganism.

    Excellent point! The scary thing is that the English bid seems to centre around how much money can be made by fleecing fans!!!!!

  • Comment number 62.

    #35 "Can't believe the money being spent on yet another campaign to win hosting a World Cup that's still 8 to 12 years away. Who knows what the World will be like that far in the future? If it's case of giving countries time to prepare..give them out for the next 50-100 years and stop all this bidding nonsense"

    Congrats, you just contradicted yourself. Who knows what the world will be like in 50-100 years?
    I still find it a travesty that Australia weren't given the 2010 or 2014. They're a redeveloping football nation that have restructured their league and need the World Cup to promote in the same way the USA had it in 1994. It's far too late now to have the correct effect.

  • Comment number 63.

    "guyastral wrote:
    Comments such as "we deserve it", "we’re the most passionate fans in the world", "we have the best infrastructure", "we invented football", etc. Only confirm the arrogant attitude that is often attributed to the English abroad. No country has a divine right to host it."

    As an anti-Englander, you may not like the fact that we invented football, but I think you'll find it is actually fact! How is it arrogant to have the opinion that we have the best infrastructure or most passionate fans? If you, like me, are going to South Africa in the summer, I think you'll probably find the latter to be true and you may well form the view that the former is true too!

    "The pros of hosting it in England would be: big profits for TV companies, FIFA and sponsors."

    So, what would be different about England 2018 to any other World Cup from and including USA '94? This is Fifa's modus operandi, not the decision of the England bid!

    "The cons: exorbitant costs for the fans, crammed venues and hooliganism."

    Re cost to fans - I am paying over £100 to see some matches in South Africa - again, this is the way Fifa work, not anything individual about the English bid.

    Crammed stadiums? How does that work in an all seater stadium? There will be full houses at every game - you just have to check the Fifa site to see that tickets are available for most of the group matches in South Africa, to see the merits of an England bid as opposed to taking a World Cup to a still developing football country.

    Hooliganisn - that's just a blast from the past. There has not been any serious trouble involving England fans for over 10 years. An easy one to throw at us though!

    You should take your rose-tinted spectacles off and back the bid. I guess you must be a bitter Scot or Welshie? If you are English, you should be ashamed of yourself!

  • Comment number 64.

    I would really love to see actual proof that joint aren't being considered any more.

    Sure they got a bad reputation because of Japan's empty seats and lack of passion in 2002 (why they are biding again I still don't understand) and some FIFA officials criticized joint bids back then, but Belgium/Holland and Austria/Switzerland turned out very well.

    I don't see why Portugal and Spain, two top footballing nations who have ONE organizing committee should have any problem either. Otherwise joint bids just wouldn't be accepted by FIFA at all.

    And Plymouth I can understand because of geography, but Milton Keynes?

  • Comment number 65.

    Jamtay, you seem to be another anti-Englander:

    "I just don't see the benefit in having a World Cup in England, If Europe deserves another venue why not Russia?"

    As I stated above:

    "Russia – corruption, poor infrastructure/transport, stadia not up to scratch, distances."

    Your criterium for where the World Cup goes just seems to be based on selecting any country randonly tio ensure the World Cup does not go to England, without making any judgement on the merits of each bid. At best, you seem to suggest that it should go to a "developing country". As much as we all hope the World Cup can do some good for teh hosts, it is not actually a charity - there are various criteria and a bidding process to go throw with the main aim of ensuring the best World Cup possible.

  • Comment number 66.

    You have to laugh at the English. This is great for the country etc. When Scotland tried to host the Euro Champs there was no money to back the bid. England get the Olympics and are going for the World Cup and the government underwrites it. Even the Comonwealth Games in Manchester a new stadium was built, we get it in Glasgow and we're using Hampden Park, as stadium that is a patch up job at best. You build a 700 million stadium for the Olympics only for it to be 3/4 demolished after the games. We get the scraps from the captains table.

  • Comment number 67.

    It beggars belief that England has not had a World Cup since 1966 and until Blatter and Platini and there anti English stance are removed that will not change. I can see the excuse, England had the European championships being rolled out as the feeble reason England will not be given the World Cup.

  • Comment number 68.

    How long to your moderaters take to decide, whether calling Willie Walsh an ass is acceptable ??

  • Comment number 69.

    #56 - JamTay1: With Brazil I meant developing in an economic sense (yes, it is developing rapidly), clearly they have the greatest record in world football.

    Given that it will have been 52 years since England last hosted the World Cup I think it is entirely reasonable that it goes there again.

  • Comment number 70.

    Russia has no long standing football heritage, not many good stadiums and few really modern stadiums, uses fake plastic pitches, is hopelessly corrupt and unfriendly to tourists and will be hard to get round. Are all the matches going to be in 2 or 3 cities, because the distances will make South Africa look like the Vatican City.


    Oh please. Have you ever even been to the country? Some of the nicest and kindest people I have ever met have been Russians. And Russian football history goes far back. They played their first competitive football match in the early 1900's for heavens sake. Just because the Soviet Union fractured into smaller pieces doesn't mean its new constituent parts have just taken to the sport. They gave birth to the father of modern goalkeeping, Lev Yashin, as well as producing the first foreign side to tour England in 1945.

    CSKA, Dinamo and Spartak are all building new stadiums. Zenit's is on the verge of completion. Lokomotiv's was built a while ago in 2002. And Rubin are now investing money into building a new stadium for 2014. You also have stadiums in Khimiki and Ramenskoye which are modern all-seater style arenas.

    There is only one plastic pitch in use in the Russian game (aside from the semi-professional leagues in far North of the country near the Barents Sea) and that is at a non-footballing stadium which Spartak and sometimes CSKA are renting out. The plastic pitch is used so that it can handle the bulk of the matches and various events played on it. The rest of the Russian teams play on grass.

    The games themselves will be played in cities that are mostly centred west of the Urals with the exception being in Yekaterinburg. And the distance between there and Moscow is about 800 miles which pails into insignificance the 2500 miles between Washington DC and Los Angeles which both staged games in the 1994 World Cup.

    The problem Russia has is being able to handle the amount of tourists it will receive as it doesn't have a long standing history of mass tourism from abroad which means complicated visa requirements and a lack of hotels and facilities etc. Slowly but surely however the government is realising this and is slowly relaxing the visa restrictions as well as supporting various construction projects across the country aimed at bringing in foreign interest and investment.

  • Comment number 71.

    As it looks like it's coming to Europe, I think it's between us and Russia.

    England +'s - History, the passion, the stadiums with fans close to the pitch, ethnically diverse local fan bases, good infrastructure, short travelling distances, won't have held it for 52 years, vast financial potential, great marketing for football/FIFA.

    England -'s - Have already held it, corporate, heart of the bid seems to be how much money can be made.

    Russia +'s - Have never held it, symbolises the breadth of football's popularity, probably huge financial backing.

    Russia -'s - Unless they limit it to a few cities, huge travelling distances will be involved.

    Will FIFA want to bring football home or into the final frontier?

  • Comment number 72.

    I believe another factor in favour of England getting the World Cup again after 52 years is the diversity of the country with communities from all over the world living in the UK. This will contribute to welcoming fans from across the globe, but also make full stadiums for all matches more likely. If, for example, a Ghana v Australia game took place there would be a large number of Aussies and Ghanaians already resident to add to the travelling supporters. Would an Australia v Ghana game in Vladivostok sell out?

  • Comment number 73.

    @ Stevetreacle

    I am not an anti-Englander:

    You are correct that the World Cup is not a charity, however surely it can be used for more than just a money making exercise for TV Companies, Fifa and the already money obsessed English game?

    I would like to see it go to a country where it can help to develop the game.

    With regards to your comments on the Russian bid.

    Poor Stadia - Use the World Cup to help modernise the Stadia.

    Distance - When we have had World Cups in countries as vast as USA, I dont think this argument holds up.

    Transport - A fair point, but surely no worse than in most other countries. (Including England)

    Corruption - Berlin Wall has been down a few years now!

    The argument for a World Cup in England seems to be 'we haven't had it for a while'. Surely there has to be a better reason than that?

  • Comment number 74.

    Michael Stewart: Perhaps you missed the fact that the Scottish Gordon Brown only offered a 2.5m loan, and private companies stepped in to fund the bid? Guess it doesn't fit in with your feeling of being persecuted after being ruled by the 'anti-Scotland' Darling and Brown.

  • Comment number 75.

    to smellslikeasalmon the government have underwritten 300 million. You also failed to mention the 700 million Olympic Stadium??? A bit like the millennium dome, how much did that cost? Think we got a tree in George Square. Also I think it was Blair who was PM when they went for the bid.

  • Comment number 76.

    Some fair points Jamtay, but I would respond:

    "You are correct that the World Cup is not a charity however surely it can be used for more than just a money making exercise for TV Companies, Fifa and the already money obsessed English game?"

    1) It would be used to create revenue and fleece the fans in any host country - including countries developing economically and in football terms. I can testify this as I am getting well and truly fleeced in terms of match tickets, accomodation, travel etc in South Africa this year and would certainly not pay this much in England (other than maybe match tickets, which would be about the same price);

    2)surely their are plenty of deprived areas in England that could benefit from a World Cup, just as much as any other country?

    "Poor Stadia - Use the World Cup to help modernise the Stadia."

    Yes, but either Fifa would have to shell out the money to do that, and would make it up elsewhere, match tickets, merchandising, even more selling out to corporates, or the Russian people would have to pay for it. in England the stadia are fit and ready 8 years before the tournament.

    "Distance - When we have had World Cups in countries as vast as USA, I dont think this argument holds up."

    In my view, World Cups should not be held in countries as vast as Russia, the USA and South Africa, unless their is reasonably priced transport between cities - I am paying £800 for two internal flights between host cities in South Africa with budget airlines, this is too expensive for any fan.

    "Transport - A fair point, but surely no worse than in most other countries. (Including England)."

    True for some countries (certainly South Africa), but not England. You would be able to travel by train from London to any of the host venues in 3 hours and by car in 4-5. To travel from Russia to the Asia Pacific is over a 10 hour flight and god knows how long by train/car!

    "Corruption - Berlin Wall has been down a few years now!"

    The Berlin Wall is nothing to do with it - it's the Russian Mafia and the Oligarchs that have come out of Glasnost. Corruption, crime and bribery is rife in Russian life and politics.

    "The argument for a World Cup in England seems to be 'we haven't had it for a while'. Surely there has to be a better reason than that?"

    That is one of the arguments, but the main argument is that we are literally in a position to host it now (better than the country that will host it in a month's time!), in 8 years, our bid we be superb and wouldn't need to cost a great deal more.

  • Comment number 77.

    76 Stevetreacle

    We seem to be taking up this whole blog ourselves!!!!

    I have to admit that I did not realise that fans travelling to South Africa are been fleeced this much. That is absolutely disgusting. I would suggest that the vast majority of African fans will struggle to afford and participate in this World Cup (the first in their own continent) and that is truly sad.

    Whilst I would not disagree that Crime and Corruption is a big issue in Russia, I would argue that the influence of the Oligarchs has been reduced under the reigns of Putin and Medvedev. Russian stadia also has vast potential and many are been refurbished and rebuilt as we speak.

    I do agree with you that England has the stadia to hold a World Cup tomorrow, but in a perverse way that is why I would be more inclined to give it to another country. Yes it would cost money, but Fifa is rolling in it. A World Cup in England would only fill the coffers of those who least need it.

  • Comment number 78.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 79.

    #70 - Slowly but surely however the government is realising this and is slowly relaxing the visa restrictions as well as supporting various construction projects across the country aimed at bringing in foreign interest and investment.

    You are having a laugh, the Russian visa is one of the biggest pains in the arse going. Also, to just play matches in Moscow and St Petersburg is ridiculous. St Pete only has one stadium anyway, so basically every game is in Moscow? How is this possible? There are barely any hotels as it is. The games should be spread around the host country, and this just isnt possible in Russia. Lets not even get on to their human rights, racism, corruption etc etc.

  • Comment number 80.

    Yes I have in fact been to Russia, to Moscow and St Petersburg and travelled by train between the two.
    Unfriendly welcome: check
    Grumpy, tourist unfriendly policeman (and I didn't even get asked a bribe): check
    Racism towards indian friend who had the visa but was only saved from being sent straight back because his friend's dad paid the bribe and then got harassed by every policeman in Moscow: check
    Scary atmosphere in Dinamo Moscow hockey match cos all the soldiers supporting them are wasted on vodka? check
    Schoolmate being punched with zero provocation by drunk policeman/soldier in the Underground: check (and the policeman and his buddies then fought each other at end of platform)

    It is a fascinating country I agree, well worth a simple tourism visit, and I'm sure once you get through the gruff exterior they are friendly, but it's not a country that can hold a global tournament. It couldn't even manage the Champions League final properly, just one night of football. The brazilians may struggle to be ready in time, but they will be the best most welcoming hosts you could imagine. You'll be drinking caipirinhas with them before you've finished exchanging names!

    I am also going to South Africa and have found it very expensive just to get there and I'm only going for the England vs USA match and leaving end of May. Gonna spend the first weeks in Mozambique and Swaziland to avoid the crime of South Africa, but once it comes to the opening day of the World Cup, there is no avoiding the 1000% price rises for hotels and even hostels. Glad I'm going home to watch the rest of the tournament in safety of the living room or the local pub.

  • Comment number 81.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


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