BBC BLOGS - David Bond
« Previous | Main | Next »

Race to host 2018 World Cup intensifies

Post categories:

David Bond | 17:05 UK time, Thursday, 10 June 2010

All eyes might be on this World Cup in South Africa but behind the scenes the race to host the tournament in 2018 is intensifying. Inside the Michelangelo Towers, the luxury Sandton hotel where each of the 24 members of the Fifa executive committee are staying, all nine bidding countries have been out in force.

At this stage, it is still too early to predict the outcome of December's vote. But the last few days have seen some crucial developments.

Firstly, the Asian Football Confederation, AFC, held its congress on Tuesday and decided that it would back Europe for 2018.

With today's unsurprising news that Australia have pulled out of the running for 2018, the move leaves the United States as the only non-European bidder.

Although Europe's four bids - England, Russia and joint bids from Spain and Portugal, and Holland and Belgium - could split the vote, the move means 12 of the 24 members of the executive committee now back a European World Cup in 2018.

Secondly, the last few days have been an important opportunity to gauge the mood among Fifa's powerbrokers after the Lord Triesman affair. The former bid and Football Association chairman quit after he claimed the Spanish FA was trying to bribe referees at this World Cup.

But while it is always wise to treat their public comments with some caution, most Fifa executive committee members I have spoken to this week say the FA's swift action helped it avoid a complete disaster.

Mohammed bin Hammam, the influential head of the Asian confederation, told me he felt it had been a damaging moment for England but that they could recover.

He said: "I'm sorry for what happened as Lord Triesman is a friend of mine. I think inititally it had some impact but I don't know now if it has recovered or not. I don't think a country's bid should be affected by such an incident."

Bin Hammam, who is a key player in the Qatar bid for 2022, went on: "England is the home of the game. They can definitely organise the World Cup. They have a lot of advantages. They have the economic power and the infrastructure. They have a strong bid."

And Jack Warner, one of England's harshest critics, a Fifa vice president and head of the North American and Caribbean confederation, told me: "It was inappropriate but those things are now behind us and I think England's bid is back on track."

David Beckham meets Sepp Blatter
David Beckham meets Sepp Blatter during the bid presentation in May

Russia appear to be the front-runners, with some people prediciting that Fifa president Sepp Blatter is eyeing another opportunity to make a grand statement by taking the World Cup to one of the globe's major powers for the first time.

But England have done all they can here to try to repair the damage and stay in the hunt. The presence of David Beckham, who was England's star attraction at a networking expo with the 208 members of the Fifa congress, always helps raise the profile but is unlikely to influence the 24 voters.

That can only be done by building close relationships with the members of the executive committee over the next six months. The role of David Dein, the former Arsenal vice-chairman, and Lord Sebastian Coe, a member of the 2018 bid and friend of Blatter will be critical.

The other factor which will influence the outcome of the 2018 vote will be the simultaneous presidential campaign. Blatter formally announced to the Fifa congress here that he would be standing for another four years in 2011.

There is no sign of any challenger, but he will leave nothing to chance and will be looking to shore up support in the next few months. That will undoubtedly add another layer of complexity to the 2018 and 2022 contests.

One last point: England's most persuasive argument is that it can deliver more money to Fifa than any other bidder.

This will undoubtedly have an influence, especially after Fifa announced today that it is heading for a surplus of $1.2bn in 2010, thanks to the vast sums of money earned from TV and sponsorship.

It is a dramatic transformation from the $11m deficit Fifa had in 2002, enabling Blatter to hand each of the 208 member associations a $250,000 bonus this year.

Fifa's member nations are getting used to having lots and lots of money. England's task is to persuade football that it can guarantee similar windfalls if it is awarded the 2018 World Cup.

Blog update - Best moment at today's World Cup bid expo at the Fifa congress - Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, in town to support Russia's campaign, embracing David Beckham on the England 2018 stand.

But it is not a sign Beckham is about to join Chelsea. Sources say the two men have been friends ever since the Premier League champions toured America and played Beckham's team LA Galaxy.

Abramovich's presence here is significant as it could demonstrate a willingness on the billionaire's part to help pay for Russia's costly World Cup plans.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Wow, nice bonus, so FIFA only keep 1.25BILLION. Im glad the tickets are so 'reasonably priced' They make me sick

  • Comment number 2.

    I hope Australia get it in 2022.

    Its already been in the USA and Japan/South Korea in recent years.

    Australia has shown through the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games that they can host a spectacular show with minimal fuss.

    If we dont get it, then maybe the middle east will get their first one, in Qatar.

  • Comment number 3.

    "Russia appear to be the front runners with some people prediciting that the Fifa president Sepp Blatter is eyeing another opportunity to make a grand statement by taking the World Cup to one of the globe's major powers for the first time."

    A rather bold statement. Would you suggest that the USA are not one of the world's powers? Having held the WC in 1994?

  • Comment number 4.

    @ 3

    Russia having never hosted it, it would be going "to one of the globe's major powers for the first time."

  • Comment number 5.

    Who appointed Fifa?

  • Comment number 6.

    I guess England is everyone's second choice.

    While it would be so much fun to be in a country hosting a world cup, I guess it's only fair EVERYONE has a crack at it.

    Joint bids from countries that are solely capable is pretty weak though (Spain).

    So it's pretty much England Vs Russia, and given the Premiership are unlikely to stump up cash to assist the tournament, and the wealth of cash the Russian oil giants can plow into the game. It's a full gone conclusion.

    If England do manage to wangle it, it'll be a shocker 10x greater than London 2012. (Quick point on the olympics, I think it's terribly outdated with some "sports" from Ancient England era still doing the rounds.)

  • Comment number 7.

    DB's probably just telling Roman all the gossip about his new fillum.

    He's casting Michael Caine as Gold, Sharon Stone as Karren Brady, Bruce Willis as Sam Allardyce, Tom Hanks as Arsene Wenger, Brad Pitt as Jose Mourinho, Johnny Depp as Rafa and he was wondering whether Reese Witherspoon would lower herself to being a Sky Sports Network anchor if it meant she got to meet 50 football stars at the wrap bash.

    He was wondering about Patrick Stewart for Sepp Blatter and was waiting for his wife's permission on his short list for those to play his wife in the fillum. She was apparently torn between making her look seriously sexy and causing DB to get up to hanky panky on set against looking a bit of a bore. Potential backers see this as a key stumbling block to the project getting off the ground........

    Roman's apparently in for £10m if so........unless Boris and DC think that England shouldn't be getting into bed with the Russians before December.......which they will.......

  • Comment number 8.

    it'll be interesting to see how the Triesman debacle affects the English bid, hopefully not too much as Euro 96 was a superb tournament.

  • Comment number 9.

    Time has comes for Africa to celebrate the greatest celebration in football history!
    Super Eagles is in the position to bring the long time waiting celebration for Africa!
    Kanu and the rest of Nigeria players are ready to give Africa the great victory in football history! Nigeria is the heart of black Africans in all of Africa!
    Super Eagles will surprise the world in 2010 world cup in South Africa!
    The world cup final is between Super Eagle of Nigeria and any other team of the rest of 2010 world cup!
    May Allah puts the light of victories upon Super Eagles!


  • Comment number 10.

    Time has comes for Africa to celebrate the greatest celebration in football history!
    Super Eagles is in the position to bring the long time waiting celebration for Africa!
    Kanu and the rest of Nigeria players are ready to give Africa the great victory in football history! Nigeria is the heart of black Africans in all of Africa!
    Super Eagles will surprise the world in 2010 world cup in South Africa!
    The world cup final is between Super Eagle of Nigeria and any other team of the rest of 2010 world cup!
    May Allah puts the light of victories upon Super Eagles!


  • Comment number 11.

    The Triesman affair may be forgiven but it's not going to be forgotten. Russia look a good bet, especially against joint bids.

    http://footballfutbolfitba.wordpress.com/

  • Comment number 12.

    @ No 7.... OMG so funny!

  • Comment number 13.

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

  • Comment number 14.

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

  • Comment number 15.

    "One last point - England's most persuasive argument is that it can deliver more money to Fifa than any other bidder."

    Really? I'll probably buy that argument if and when the U.S. pulls out to focus on 2022, but if they are still in the mix for 2018, I'd like to see the supporting numbers.

  • Comment number 16.

    Just goes to show what a stupid process it is.

    There should be no need to "build relationships" with the voters, they should vote based solely on the bids as presented.

  • Comment number 17.

    David, fascinating blog as ever, but: "I don't think a country's bid should be effected by such an incident."

    AFFected, not effected. I know most people don't care, but I have grammar OCD.

  • Comment number 18.

    As someone that has spent a lot of time in St. Petersburg, Moscow and Novgorod over the last decade, I can confidently (but sadly) say that a World Cup (or any other major sporting event) would be an absolute nightmare in every respect.

  • Comment number 19.

    "AFFected, not effected. I know (that) most people don't care, but I have grammar OCD."

    Grammar ADD too, apparently.

    ;)

  • Comment number 20.

    Interesting that you feel considers Russia to be the "first major global power" to host the World Cup.
    Surely that would have been the USA. So Blatter would hardly be treading new ground All of this bidding process shows what a corrupt game we now have, all about money and no thought about the game or its future. On these factors alone it will probably go to Russia - watch England in a froup match in Vladivostock anyone?

  • Comment number 21.

    If the triesman incident does destroy our bid it is the english tabloid press's fault, yes triesman said stupid things... But atleast he tried to do it privately. And he is entitled to what ever opinion he likes... privately.

    And whilst i am not agreeing with him or those who claim conspiracy theories against enland and english teams, i can't help feel that Fifa and it's members do look at england in a more negative light than some of the other nations. Maybe we are percieved as "cocky" and arrogant at times but i think that judging the country by its celebs and high ranking officials alone is petty. I hope this is not the case, and maybe i am biased.... but with the most watched league, most professional teams, highest fan averages (hence best capacity to host high profile games frequently) and an infrastructure that can already accomodate a world cup to me its just a common sense choise that we are the most suitable nation to host the world cup at present? I also Disapprove of beckham representing our bid, i personally am not a fan and i fear that to somebody at fifa sharing my opinion they may misinterpret beckham as a representative of us all? Rant off. Night :)

  • Comment number 22.

    @15 - Whils the US is obviously a much larger profitable economy than our own ( in the UK ) i think there is a lot less domestic interest in "Soccer" over there and perhaps whilst the multi-national firms will obviously jump on the sponsor wagon, merchendisers and local businesses might not do aswell in the US with the boost the worldcup brings to other nations. Just a thought not sure how much of that is fact apart from the fact americans are always surprised at how popular football is outside America.....

    @16 - Your right and unfourtanetly the same process takes place in politics and legislation. Which seems to be Fifas main role these days. Some Polticians do each other favours and sell and trade votes with each other behind the scenes on different things when they really should just be considering the benefits of the bill at hand right ? and obviously theres party support where your expected to back your partys bill ... Its the same with this bidding process , It was never going to be about if england can successfully host a world cup as i said in my previous post, we carry millions of fans to football games on most saturdays we could probably host a world cup with a weeks notice....

  • Comment number 23.

    absitomen - I make plenty of mistakes, but I'm not a professional journalist :)

    Hopefully England will get the World Cup in 2018, but I can't see it happening, personally.

    We're perfectly placed to host a brilliant tournament, but I don't think we can recover from the Triesman nonsense. Does anyone else blame the Mail on Sunday for this?

  • Comment number 24.

    Blatantly our turn - the facts are Italy, France and Germany have had it twice and we're on their level. Otherwise it means FIFA really don't like us.

    Sorry, I'm usually a smug media type when it come to patriotism.

  • Comment number 25.

    Good read David.

    In all honesty I think England will get the nod to stage the 2018 World Cup. I really don't see any other strong contender. The facilities to stage the world cup are there to be seen and they are second to none. However, for some reason I have a feeling it could as well go to Russia, but it would be a long shout. However, It's about time England stages the World Cup and I would really like to know why if England misses this time around.

    In the other hand, I do hope Lord Triesman comments has not damaged the bid too badly. As mentioned in the blog, one of England's critics said the bid is back on track but I still have some doubts. Plus Sepp Blatter wants it to be staged in Russia for the first time. Anyways it will be interesting to see who will get to stage it.

  • Comment number 26.

    Firstly, let me address one issue i have here with some of the comments made above.

    People CLEARLY don't understand what is meant by the comment "... taking the World Cup to one of the globe's major powers for the first time."

    What David means by this is, Russia being "one of the globe's major powers", it would be the "first time" they host it.

    A better version:

    "Russia appear to be the front runners with some people prediciting that the Fifa president Sepp Blatter is eyeing another opportunity to make a grand statement by taking the World Cup to ANOTHER of the globe's major powers for the first time."

    I really, really struggle to see how people haven't understood that. Given the amount of people that bang on about grammar on the BBC blogs and 606, that you can't see that.

    I really can't see it going to Russia. The infrastructure is quite frankly awful in the main, it's notoriously difficult to get a visa (although, i'm sure there will be mesure to make this easier) and beyond that, i think there's a lot of feeling in the general public across Europe that it would be a great idea. Plus, i really don't fancy the obligatory "Cold War 2" build up should Russia draw the US at any point.

    Spain-Portugal. In my opinion, Portugal's inclusion detracts from the quality of this bid. Also, and this refers to the Netherlands/Belgium joint bid, in known the Fifa are against joint bids, as internally they weren't particularly happy with the way 2002 was run, even though externally it was a great World Cup. (Maybe the disappointment may be from the 11mil loss. That's more like hundreds of millions loss in real terms for Fifa.)

    England. Well, this bid is turning into our off pitch Quarter-Final, we just keep shooting ourselves in the foot, it's ridiculous. Next we'll be hearing that Coe's broken his Metacarpal and can't make it to dinner with Blatter, scuppering our chances of reaching the final stages of the vote.

    On the 2022. It's Australia's to lose now. Japan/US just had a WC in recent times (However, by the time the WC comes round, it will be 28 since US '94, lets not forget that, that's actually quite a while), and Qatari football isn't of the greatest quality, in terms of their national team, and without causeing offence, it's generally not the Middle Eastern teams from the Asian block that do "well" in WC's.

    Also, the Aussies have pretty much guaranteed themselves the European block, will obviously have the Oceania region, even though they're an "Asian" country now (in the eye's of Fifa). Asia block will be split, so no big winner for any country there. Not sure about Warner and Concacaf, nor the African votes, although i'm tempted to say Concacaf - US, and Africa - Qatar.

    Hope that wasn't too long for you all :)

  • Comment number 27.

    Is Blatter trying to be FIFA President for life. Standing again, reminds me of the 1970's when African Leaders tried to be president for life.

    Also, England last hosted the world cup in 1966 yet teams like the USA who hosted the world less than 20 years ago are trying to host the cup again. I think that FIFA should introduce rules that countries can only host the world cup a minimum of every 40 years.

    http://britishiconicsports.blogspot.com

  • Comment number 28.

    " Also, England last hosted the world cup in 1966 yet teams like the USA who hosted the world less than 20 years ago are trying to host the cup again. I think that FIFA should introduce rules that countries can only host the world cup a minimum of every 40 years. "

    I think they should ask us what years we would like the World Cup and if there are any that we don't want, then let other countries bid.
    It's our game and somehow it's being run from Switzerland.

  • Comment number 29.

    Is there any point of us holding the world cup ? the British press will only ruin it.

  • Comment number 30.

    The desire to host the tournament in Europe in 2018 seems to be motivated by money more than anything else, and it's for this reason more than any other that I wouldn't expect Russia to have much support. Their current favour appears to stem from the government's upfront guarantee of being able to fund everything - but paying to organise a world cup isn't the same as running an Olympic games, where most of the infrastructure has to be built up from scratch. The English, Spanish/Portuguese and Dutch/Belgian bids will all require comparatively little investment, as so much of the capacity is already in place.

    The argument that Blatter will want to be seen as leaving a legacy of taking the competition to new corners of the world is a sound one, of course. But that's where 2022 comes in, probably heading to Australia. The western European bids all offer the comfort of a 2018 tournament that will be both reliably successful and massively profitable - allowing Fifa to send the next tournament further afield.

    Personally, I think that this, combined with Fifa politics, all points heavily to Spain/Portugal, although I don't think an English world cup is impossible just yet.

  • Comment number 31.

    I should add that I'm not suggesting for one moment that Australia would struggle to host the tournament - just that it wouldn't be quite as financially appealing to Fifa, because of the time difference and distance from Europe, and the huge distances between what would likely be some of the host cities.

  • Comment number 32.

    Shame 3 things seem to be overlooked:-

    1. Russia are NOT the front runners. England are.
    2. It can't be held in a middle-east country for a number of pretty obvious reasons.
    3. The USA will get it in 2022 as part of a collective arrangement with Europe.

    Other than that, an interesting read.

  • Comment number 33.

    @ absitomen

    As someone that has spent a lot of time in St. Petersburg, Moscow and Novgorod over the last decade, I can confidently (but sadly) say that a World Cup (or any other major sporting event) would be an absolute nightmare in every respect.

    ----

    Absolutely correct. I travelled to Dno. I would never go back. Russia makes South Africa look like a safe haven of peace and calm. It will not hold the WC in 2018. Nor for a good twenty years beyond that.

    As to the England bid, I notice a few people say that England have the "infrastructure in place" - actually it is one of England's biggest weaknesses. The stadia are ok. But England has the worst, most congested roads and road system in the developed world.

    England will still get the 2018 competition though.





  • Comment number 34.

    44 years is too long for the nation that created football to wait between hosting football's biggest tournament!
    We the fans shouldnt be punished for one idiot's stupid comments. We have the highest average attendances, the best stadia (in terms of the amount/depth of good grounds and good capacity) that are already in place and in use for football. And as bad as the Wembley pitch is, at least it isnt plastic!
    I don't think joint bids should be allowed for starters, and also Portugal and Holland have both hosted tournaments since England have.
    If it doesnt come to England in 2018, then it most definitely isnt for FOOTBALL reasons, in which case it would show the state of the game today!

  • Comment number 35.

    The Midland 20:

    The USA will get it in 2022 as part of a collective arrangement with Europe.

    ----------


    Where on earth are you getting this from? The USA has very little support outside of their own region, largely because they hosted the world cup so recently.

    And even if they had every vote from Europe, it wouldn't be enough.

  • Comment number 36.

    Not that bothered.

    Was in Germany for 2006 and it was far more fun than if it had been here. Basically it's a good excuse for a holiday.

  • Comment number 37.

    David, do you know if any Fifa executive C.M. is also part of the The Bilderberg Group? ;)

    ..it's amazing how the AFC decided that it would back Europe for 2018 days after they met too! Can't quite figure out how Japan could bid for 2018 or 22 when they only had it in 2002, similarily U.S. after '94, whilst England have to wait over half a century?

    I thought UEFA were getting their act together anyway, so Europe would only present one main bid each time, therefore saving time money and effort. Four bids is totally ridiculous.

    How are the votes split between the 24 members and how's it looking at the moment?

  • Comment number 38.

    'If England do manage to wangle it, it'll be a shocker 10x greater than London 2012. (Quick point on the olympics, I think it's terribly outdated with some "sports" from Ancient England era still doing the rounds.)'

    Ancient England era?! What is that then? Most sports at the games are from this 'ancient england' era - and that includes football.

  • Comment number 39.

    My main issue with some of the other bids is that the USA last hosted the World cup in 1994 and Spain 1982 whilst England have been waiting since 1966.

    The Russian bid looks the most likely threat to England (apart from the English FA) since they have yet to host the tournament. However, I know too little about their infrastructure or the bid itself to say whether it deserves to be a front-runner.

    It may be that FIFA would prefer to keep England in reserve in case a future world cup needed to be seitched at short notice, since we already have the stadia and facilities to successfully stage the competition at very short notice

  • Comment number 40.

    Russia will sell the WC on the basis of regeneration which FIFA will like. England have no such USP and since the WC has not been to Russia before you would expect they would be the favoured bid.

    And why should the 'British' taxpayers be shelling out money for another tournament for England on top of the London Olympics?

  • Comment number 41.

    To #40,

    The British Taxpayers should pay for this because the English Taxpayers subsidise Scottish Prescriptions, Tuition Fees and Care Homes & Welsh Prescriptions.

  • Comment number 42.

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

  • Comment number 43.

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

  • Comment number 44.

    Forgot South Africa, forget England or whoever it may be in 2018. The 2014 World Cup in Brazil will be the greatest footballing spectacle ever.

  • Comment number 45.

    Spain and Portugal for the 2018 World Cup Finals, you heard it hear first :-)

  • Comment number 46.

    #41
    The British Taxpayers should pay for this because the English Taxpayers subsidise Scottish Prescriptions, Tuition Fees and Care Homes & Welsh Prescriptions.
    ----------------------------------
    And what does oil in Scottish waters subsidise? England gives Scotland no subsidy at all and all independent academic studies show that Scotland spends what we put in! London however, is the most heavily subsisded part of the UK. Oops!

    Now can some moderator tell me exactly why this comment was removed?!

  • Comment number 47.

    I don't think that any nations that post a joint bid stand much chance in the race, because of the problems that arose in 2002!

    Englands chances are good but could be better, our relationship with FIFA is at best fragile. Mr Blatter and Mr Platini in particular dont seem to care much for our nation or how our game is producing so much revinue, taking all the best players to the premiership, apart from the obvious powers in spain. And of course dear old Lord T!

    I think this is the only reason for Englands bid to be turned down, everythings just about in place.

    The point of roads being congested is true but our main worry on the transport front will be our megre train service as most tourists especially from further afield will not be travelling by car!

    England or Russia! Close call!

  • Comment number 48.

    Poor disparate summary of just a few issues related issues of the bid.

  • Comment number 49.

    Nobody has a divine right to host a world cup. I also don't agree with this idea that it needs to be rotated between countries and continents. It must go to the country that at the time promises to produce the best world cup on offer.

    Everyone knows that England would be the perfect place to host the world cup. It literally has everything needed. I'm sure Russia could bleed some oil money into theirs to host a world cup, but I'm not so sure having it in Russia is such a good idea. Firstly it is quite a massive country, and that didn't do the USA any favours in 1994. Secondly it doesn't really have much history in hosting football tournos.

    Joint bids shouldn't be allowed either. Spain could host it easily on their own, they don't need to have Portugal by their side. It really does defeat the some of the uniqueness that the world cup should have.

  • Comment number 50.

    Thanks for the numbers, David, they look gorgeous.
    Has all that lovely money from the TV companies been paid this year, in advance of the world cup?

    Apart from the bonuses paid to the member associations (totaling $52 million), what happens to the other $1148 million? Does that also go back to the member associations?
    Or is it sloshing around in some Swiss bank accounts that may never be audited to the same standards as large companies in the European Union or the United States?

  • Comment number 51.

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

  • Comment number 52.

    I wish it could be hosted in Canada so I could go with my dad. Or even better if I could afford to go where ever the world cup ends up being. Sounds like things are heating up. If I had to vote I would say England!

  • Comment number 53.

    Oh boy the 2018 World Cup is still pretty far away. I have a lot of relatives in England so I really hope England manages to win the race.

    Money is a big deal and England has the cash! I am excited to see how this turns out.

  • Comment number 54.

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

  • Comment number 55.

    The football world cup is one of the biggest competition in the world and the fact that England didn't get the hosting position is crushing but i guess it gives the football news media less to focus and more time to provide us with transfer gossip and happenings across the globe.

  • Comment number 56.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 57.

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

  • Comment number 58.

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

  • Comment number 59.

    Don’t forget football is not only about kicking the cow skin around. It is also about Development and I don’t think the English bid was about that. Russia and Qatar are all still developing while England is already developed. The World cup leaves a huge legacy in a country, especially infrastructure-wise. However I think the voting system is a bit wrong as one man can decide your fate like a referee influencing the outcome of a game. It’s not the end of the world as it also happened to us (South Africa) before when the so called Mr. Dempsey (RIP) of the Oceania Federation decided not to vote and we lost it by one vote.

  • Comment number 60.

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

 

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.