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How much difference does Fifa visit make to England's 2018 bid?

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David Bond | 07:54 UK time, Monday, 23 August 2010

After suffering a series of setbacks in the nine months before the World Cup in South Africa, England's 2018 bid leaders have restored a semblance of stability to the campaign.

The attack from Fifa vice president Jack Warner, the row over handbags and the embarrassing resignations of Sir David Richards and bid leader Lord David Triesman left England 2018 on the back foot but don't appear to have caused any lasting damage.

And as Fifa's six-man inspection team arrive in London on Monday for the start of a four-day visit, the 2018 team is preparing to press home its key message; that England offers the safest bet for a well delivered, low cost, money-spinning World Cup.

But how important are these visits? And, even more crucially, will the technical side of the bid be enough to bring the World Cup back to England for the first time since 1966?

On Monday the delegation will meet Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg before heading to Wembley to inspect the facilities there and see England coach Fabio Capello.

On Tuesday there will be further venue visits before they travel to the north east, where on Wednesday they will head to Sunderland's Stadium of Light and Newcastle's St James' Park.

And on Thursday they will be in Manchester sampling the City of Manchester Stadium and Old Trafford.

The England squad back the 2018 World Cup bidThe England squad back the 2018 World Cup bid

The Fifa team, headed by the chairman of the Chilean FA Harold Mayne-Nicholls and including South Africa 2010 chief executive Danny Jordaan, are now two thirds of the way through their world tour assessing the nine candidates for 2018 and 2022.

Last week they were in Russia, seen now by many bid experts as England's main rival, and although they were clearly impressed by the commitment of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, there were questions over the amount of work which would be needed if they won.

After England they fly to Spain and Portugal next week before finishing with a week in America and a week in Qatar.

They will then produce an evaluation report on the potential hosts which will be handed to each of the 24 Fifa executive committee members who will make the decision at a vote at Fifa House in Zurich in Switzerland on 2 December.

While Russia must invest huge sums of money - bid leaders there have estimated it may cost more than £115 billion to build the stadiums needed and improve the country's infrastructure - England's team knows it has an advantage with so many modern stadiums already built.

It also knows that after World Cups in South Africa this year and Brazil in 2014, offering Fifa a low risk tournament which would, according to England's bid book, generate more money than any previous edition could be attractive.

That's why England's bid cannot afford any slip-ups this week. The trains will have to run on time, the stadiums the Fifa delegation see will have to be immaculate and the presentations on accommodation, host cities and security faultless.

But even if they get it absolutely right and are rewarded with a glowing technical evaluation by Mayne-Nicholls, it provides no guarantee of success.

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Because this race, as with all races for major sports events, will be decided by football's complex world of geopolitics.

All the candidates for 2018 are now European - except for the United States, who are nevertheless expected to drop out of that race and focus solely on 2022 very soon.

That has made things a little clearer and much may now depend on which deals are done between candidates for 2018 and those bidding for 2022.

But with just over three months to go, many bid experts say this race is impossible to predict.

Russia are now said to be the favourites and are fighting a very tough campaign. They offer Fifa the opportunity to take the World Cup to new territory once again and open up new markets in Eastern Europe.

The Russians also offer Fifa president Sepp Blatter the chance to use football's biggest event to make another grand political gesture - possibly his last before he stands down.

But Spain and Portugal also emerged from the lobbying in the plush hotels of Johannesburg's Sandton district during the World Cup in good shape. All the arguments which make England attractive could just as easily be made for the Iberian campaign.

And so the vote is likely to come down to some political deal which may be done just days or hours before the vote.

With Blatter facing a possible presidential challenger in 2011, will that have an influence on how the election plays out as he looks to shore up his position?

In the race for 2006, South Africa ended up losing when Asia's bloc of votes switched to Germany because of a row with Blatter over the number of places the continent were being given for the next World Cup.

On such matters, World Cup votes turn. And no matter how well England performs this week, their real challenge is to get the politics right over the next three months.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Strangely when I clicked the link at first and it just had the headline, I have to say I fell it had more interesting content

  • Comment number 2.

    This is England. Something is bound to go wrong.

  • Comment number 3.

    The technical bit is an insufficient component for a winning bid. It's necessary, but not enough.

    Any stadia being built will be done by Clubs, so there is little contigent risk there. Worst case is that HMG guarantees a loan to get the construction started on time. To upgrade a few and build possibly two new stadia on Merseyside and in north London.

    More general infrastructure is icing on the cake, rather than necessity. Airports are in place, there is a train system already there, hotels are broadly there and the road system is there. It would be about optimising access to stadia, be that park and ride, trams, bus shuttles etc etc.

    The politics is the politics. Which is pretty pointless us lot speculating on. We'll just need to let the team sort that one out. If they're good enough at it, they'll win. If not they won't.

  • Comment number 4.

    The trains will have to run on time

    I guess the tournament is going to Spain/Portugal then!

  • Comment number 5.

    Good blog - very sad that politics has to decide the outcome of this bid, rather than it being awarded to the country best placed to deliver a good World Cup.

    Good blog - very sad that politics has to decide the outcome of this bid, rather than it being awarded to the country best placed to deliver a good World Cup.

    While a World Cup in Russia would undoubtedly provide a fantastic backdrop and new commercial opportunities for FIFA, I think the cost of building stadia and transport infrastructure is just too high. Add to that the vast size of the country, which would make it extremely hard for competing nations and fans to travel to the different venues.

    On paper Spain and Portugal provide the most threat to England’s bid. They already have world class facilities like England and great transport links. Crucially, the one thing they do not have though is incompetent football administrators who care more about their own egos and self preservation, than the state of the national game.

    Unfortunately I think this may be the reason for England not hosting the 2018 tournament. I hope I'm wrong though.

  • Comment number 6.

    Why was a perfectly civil comment I tried to post "failed by the profanity filter"?

  • Comment number 7.

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

  • Comment number 8.

    Ermmm they will be using existing stadia for the English bid D...the 2 new stadia being discussed are the Stanley Road developement for LFC and the new White Hart Lane...all of which will be funded by the clubs themselves...you need to stop reading the Daily Mail my friend

  • Comment number 9.

    Before SA2010, I didn't really want the WC in England but now I think we are in desperate need for it in 2018/2022. It will provide an opportunity to improve the grass roots of football in this country and get the national team to a standard which the fans expect.

  • Comment number 10.

    I suspect the lack of 'meat' in Mr Bond's article is because of the fact that we should be 'reading between the lines' here and filling in a lot of the gaps ourselves.

    FIFA bidding and elections have been seriously flawed for 30+ years now. England will need to convince several global blocs to go with them as a choice. The fact that you can hire third party companies to help 'promote' your bid speaks volumes. One of the people that England will need to impress is Jack Warner from Trinidad & Tobago. Mr Warner has become very wealthy over the years', mainly from football related businesses. I could go into detail but many of you will be well aware of his track record and how poorly he regards England.

    My advice would be to wait until Blatter has stood down and make a transparent and clean bid for 2026 (and don't let Milton Keynes in next time!).

  • Comment number 11.

    How can England's bid be considered purely on the basis of the sport when it includes Milton Keynes? When England's World Cup bid includes a stadium that only exists because of a supermarket property deal that franchised a football club 60 miles from its home town, then it's a bid that is already mired in politics and already excluding many of us still outraged at the governing bodies' actions regarding the whole mess. I for one will oppose the bid until MK is removed from it - why should the MK stadium's owners be rewarded for their part in destroying Wimbledon FC? A united bid? It never has been and never will be.

  • Comment number 12.

    I'd always thought that South Africa lost the 2006 race because the New Zealand delegate ignored the mandate of his own association.

  • Comment number 13.

    Looking at the photo I see the losers who failed in 2004, 2006, qualifying for 2008 and failed again in 2010; it's hard to back anything that has the support of those bottlers.
    The F.A. has failed the game for so many years that I would hate for them to be able claim that winning the bidding process is an example of how much they care about the future of English football and their competence. A successful bid will be used to paper over the massive cracks at the heart of the game that the F.A have allowed to grow and for that reason I hope the bid doesn't succeed.

  • Comment number 14.

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

  • Comment number 15.

    Beckham, Ferdinand, Capello, Lewis Hamilton, Noel Gallagher, Sting - is this celeb-pack a bid for the World Cup Finals or the Eurovision Song Contest ??

    If there are three 'footballing' people unable to answer 'footballing' questions then B,F, and C are the dream team.

  • Comment number 16.

    I really hope England do NOT get the 2018 World Cup.
    As a nation our football clubs are in a shocking financial state, the whole league system is a joke.
    Many clubs have spent money they dont have, the people running the game are not taking responsibilty for the shambles in Englands leagues.
    Germany's Bundesliga should be a business role model for England to follow,kick the GREED out of the English game.
    Then we can hold our heads up and deservedly hold the WC.

  • Comment number 17.

    I can't believe the arrogance of our political classes in attempting to foist another pointless great big corporate sporting event on us. Couldn't they at least wait until we've finished paying the bills for the 2012 Olympics before starting all over again?

    And how much is this football thingy going to cost the taxpayer if the bid is "successful"?

  • Comment number 18.

    After the Brazil WC I can't see Fifa opting for a 'similar' toned event on the Iberian coast which basically leaves a straight fight between England and Russia and I think it really could go either way.

    England's bid has seemed pretty shambolic at times and I've never quite understood their message 'Back The Bid'. It comes across as though they're trying to convince their own public all the time instead of promoting our love of the game outside our shores. Even in the photo David's used the England squad don't look that enthusiastic do they?

  • Comment number 19.

    England has equal chance as the rest of the other bids to host the 2018 World Cup. But I hope Russia or Australia host the World Cup in 2018. Its is better for the World Cup as a new nation hosts the World Cup. England do not deserve to host World Cup in 2018 or 2022.
    English football is in financial crisis, too many foreign players in the league. All England players arr overpaid including the manager. The FA is wasting the money it gets in football.
    England's transport system is not good, prices are currently too high and it is still a joke we do not have high speed rail to major cities from London.
    And Beckham has no chance of playing in the 2018 World Cup, he will be 43 and there is no youth system in English football so same old players will still be at the next Euro & WC!


  • Comment number 20.

    It may cost the Russians a fortune to bring their stadia up to scratch, but they'll have plenty of backers willing to do it.

    http://footballfutbolfitba.wordpress.com/

  • Comment number 21.

    This should be a British bid and we should have a British team; it’s time that separate associations for the four parts of the UK were put to bed once and for all and we had a united team which we could all support. Also, why should central Government back a bid on behalf of only one part of the country – could even be construed as racist!

  • Comment number 22.

    How much difference does Fifa visit make to England's 2018 bid?


    Without it we would not be in the running....I hope this helps..

  • Comment number 23.

    It's decided by money & pure greed

    The many millions of wasted cash - could go to people that are starving & dying right now

    Football wastes multi ££££££££ millions of cash on a sport, with players that don’t care less about anything - but still very honest & lovely people die for just the lack of a few hundred quid !!!!

    This world is bonkers to support Football with so much wasted cash

  • Comment number 24.

    Some of the stadiums being touted to be used are aweful, tiny and disrespect the potential numbers of fans wanting to watch their repected nation play. Why put forward some 25,000 seaters did we see these in Africa?

  • Comment number 25.

    England have no USP for a bid other than they have the infrastructure already in place: Australia would be a 'new' expanding market for FIFA, and in Russia (and EEurope) the bid would come with a 'regeneration' aspect lacking for England.

    I would also have to agree with #10 and raise doubts about the well documented practices of Jack Warner and his colleagues, and what this will mean for a 'transparent' bid. FIFA have shown little signs of cleaning up their act in recent years according to journalists like Andrew Jennings. And its not that Mr Warner does not like England per se. The ex-SFA president John McBeth gave an interview last year alleging that Mr Warner had asked the SFA for the fee for a friendly between Scotland and T&T to be paid to his personal holding company, and not to the T&T FA. This will not be an open and transparent process and I'm not sure British taxpayers money should really be involved at all.

  • Comment number 26.

    Strangely when I clicked the link at first and it just had the headline, I have to say I fell it had more interesting content

    ===

    its a David Bond article they're very rarely interesting, if they are you can bet a load of facts are missing.

  • Comment number 27.

    #21 Penboy,

    What a ridiculous comment. How that can be considered racist i do not know, please enlightem me with your thoughts on this. (and i'm scottish by the way)

    And as for a UK team, never going to happen. Why on earth would each FA give up their votes? As 4 separate FA's the british FA's actually have a larger vote blocked toghether than they would as one FA. Giving that up would be sheer stupidity.

    #19 Sportsfan, agree with you 100% on the shambolic transport system. Look at the French, they've had high speed trains for well over 30 years.

  • Comment number 28.

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

  • Comment number 29.

    jamdoonsouth

    Racism is defined as ‘prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race’ therefore it could be argued that central Government support on behalf of England’s bid at the expense of the Celtic nations is possibly racist. I would though say that to do so is political correctness gone made though I am equally gutted that you’re the only one to take the bait.

    Your second point is though far more interesting; what exactly gives us the right to have four votes when we are only one country? Now that is arrogance in the extreme and I can’t for the life of me understand why FIFA has let us get away with it for so long. If you, or anyone else can defend this position (and the argument that we invented and codified the game doesn’t wash) I’d like to hear it.

  • Comment number 30.

    There should only be one bid per federation and each federation should aim to support its bidder. That would allow Russia or England to focus on a duel against Australia rather than dividing UEFA by them both going for it. It seems a little unfair that a nation the size of Russia hasn't had it yet. I'd say they should get 2018, the Aussies 2022 and England 2026 then back to S. American for 2030.

  • Comment number 31.

    Why isn't Paul the Ocopus in that picture?

  • Comment number 32.

    what exactly gives us the right to have four votes when we are only one country?
    --------------------------

    The fact that it's four football association's gives the right.

  • Comment number 33.

    i think Australia should be awarded hte WC in 2022 as it is an expanding market as mentioned but won't generate that much money at this stage, its all about the politics and with Englands fanatical following of football a WC in this country would be a financial windfall for Fifa that would allow them to host a WC in australia where the financial gains might not be so huge.

    a WC in england would be one of the highest if not the highest financial generating world cup's Fifa have had in recent memory

  • Comment number 34.

    thanks goodness for comment 28, because I'm bored of people who clearly have no passion for the game discussing why other countries have the right to hold the biggest sporting occasion over us. There is no questioning that our domestic game is going through a rough patch, but has anything happened since to suggest this will change? No. Therefore england winning the bid has no downsides; I hope it kickstarts the fa into some major action, if not we still get to hold this glorious competition.

  • Comment number 35.

    Penboy, central government? Scotland has it's own government thank you very much.

    I always think the fact that there is so many countries in the world and a World Cup every four years there is bound to be lots of countries disappointed. You can't give it to everyone.

    I would love the World Cup to be in England but I reckon it'll be Russia purely because it has never hosted one before. But it's so massive, that might be a problem.

    Basically my point is that the decision will upset millions whoever is chosen. One winner, many losers. So don't take it too personally if England don't get it.

  • Comment number 36.

    #29 - The four home associations founded international football and it has always been said that their 4 votes are a nod in recognition of this. Don't have a go at me, I'm just the messenger. To be honest it only really makes a difference within Europe and the "British bloc" has been ignored for a long time at FIFA level. Comapre this with the situation in the Caribbean - 30+ associations who often follow each other in voting, kind of puts 4 votes in the shade.

    And it's the Scots/Welsh/Ulstermen that are deeply attached to the seperate associations. Every time it gets discussed the Scots go ballistic and all start to sound like a scene from Braveheart.

  • Comment number 37.

    Well firstly it will be in Europe, if you count Russia as Europe as it hasn't been for two world cups.

    It could be England, it should be really, after risky options like South Africa and Brazil they would now want to play it safe.

    Russia has too much to do in my view, and it be another world cup marred by players get used to the playing conditions and spending hours on planes between matches.

    Netherlands and Belgium is a strong bid but Belgium may not even exist by that time.

    Spain and Portugal pretty much has all the same arguments as England, except it will be two World Cup's in a latin/Portuguese speaking country in a row. And it will be boiling hot, which might effect the players.

    So to England. England has good football playing weather, an environment that so many players round the world are used, many stadia already built or already funded to be built, experience of London 2012, excellent transport internally and externally, alot of fans from many countries already here and alot fans on our doorstep in Europe, London, the birth place of football and Alan Shearer.

    So what are waiting for.

  • Comment number 38.

    With guys like Jack Warner, England have zero chance.

    Mind you, given we failed to qualify for EC, may as well have done the same in 2010, maybe the real purpose and importance of our bid is this.........

    On the actual playing side, we are potentially moving towards a period of even more dire performances given that the more everyone knows things should change, everyone knows the less will change.

    At least as host nation we will qualify !!!!!!!!!!!!! However, if nothing changes, South Africa wont hold the tag of the worst performing host nation for too long.

    Oh, another advantage of being at home, our stars can relieve their boredom more easily, if you know what I mean.

    Seriously, we have a lot to offer off the pitch, and if you are looking at money making in particular, well come on board Richard Scudamore !!!

    But on the pitch............... what a potential embarrassment. Our athletes are beginning to come through at the higher level as the home Olympics comes around. Do you think our "Baby Bentley" lot will have the same desire in 2016 when their basic salary is 1 million pound a week.

    Arrgghh. got the answer to that one........... bring back the Golden Generation. Becks for Manager.

  • Comment number 39.

    After the Mail on Sunday demolition job and the fact Cameron can't be bothered to give up a few hours of his holiday to meet FIFA I think England won't be hosting the WC.

  • Comment number 40.

    #36
    And it's the Scots/Welsh/Ulstermen that are deeply attached to the seperate associations. Every time it gets discussed the Scots go ballistic and all start to sound like a scene from Braveheart.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    No it is nothing like this at all. Scotland is a nation with its own team and FA and there is no NEED for a British team: most people in Scotland identify themselves as Scottish first. The only drama arises when people start to question why we won't get involed in a British set-up. No support for it at home, most wouldn't support it or watch it.

  • Comment number 41.

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

  • Comment number 42.

    Agreed Penboy.

    No offence meant Rob04, but you did rather prove my point. I thought the idea of a GB team as a one-off for the Olympics was a rather good idea, until Scotsmen started going into fits and shouting "We'd rather die first!" All 4 teams chipping in together might actually give us a chance of winning for once (which, with every passing year, seems to become a very distant propect for them as individual teams). We just wanted to try it once ...

  • Comment number 43.

    England will win the bid to host the world cup. Why? Because its fixed! Always has been and always will be!

    Brazil will win the worldcup in 2014 as hosts because its there turn.
    Then in 2018 FIFA will fix it for Germany to win it in England because FIFA hates England and would really, really enjoy watching that happen!

    So, Germany to win the FIFA World Cup in England in 2018. Slap your mortgage on it!

    Also 'LoveEngland' wrote :
    'Netherlands and Belgium is a strong bid but Belgium may not even exist by that time.'

    Belgium? Not exist???
    ??
    ?
    How come?

  • Comment number 44.

    Sorry. I meant 'LoveLondon' wrote..

  • Comment number 45.

    And also i meant Germany will win in 2018...

  • Comment number 46.

    The British team would be largely pointless because aside from Craig Gordon and perhaps Gareth Bale it would just be the England team anyway. But this is not the time or place to discuss it.

    Yeah, what are you on about LoveLondon:" Netherlands and Belgium is a strong bid but Belgium may not even exist by that time." What?!

  • Comment number 47.


    pitroddieloon :

    'The British team would be largely pointless because aside from Craig Gordon and perhaps Gareth Bale it would just be the England team anyway.'

    That Aide McGready fellas supposed to be good. And I'm sure Dodi Weir will still be going strong as well. Is Colin Hendry still playing?

  • Comment number 48.

    Belgium might not be the most exciting nation but it has gone through several crises recently on the constitutional level ... the Walloons want out and so do the other side ... sorry, I haven't explained that very well but it's a fact that it could split in 2 ...

  • Comment number 49.

    Infact this topic is much better!

    My British Squad at this moment in time would be :

    Hart Given Gordon

    Cole Terry Dunne O'Shea Ferdinand Brown Hutton Weir

    Gerrard Lampard Bale Giggs Scholes Jenas Duff

    Rooney Keane Crouch Boyle Boyd

    Wolrd beaters!!

  • Comment number 50.

    2. At 10:36am on 23 Aug 2010, FoxForever - Reality continues to ruin my life wrote:

    This is England. Something is bound to go wrong.
    --------------------------------------------------

    Yep, Nick Clegg says we're unbeatable....

  • Comment number 51.

    Sorry Zeemo you can't have ROI players; and also sorry to any Scots out there for my use of the term 'Jock'; it wasn't meant to be offensive and it won't happen again.

  • Comment number 52.

    Nick Clegg - "Our job is to show you we already have the infrastructure and facilities to host a World Cup."
    Apart from all those new stadia we'll need to build in order to host the tournament and the existing stadia that'll need improvement works to bring them up to the required standard.

  • Comment number 53.

    Nick Clegg has done the bid no favours by describing it as 'unbeatable'. However well intentioned, it smacks of arrogance and English assumptions of superiority.

    I do think he and his coalition partner need to go on a crash course in elementary diplomacy.

  • Comment number 54.

    2018 team is preparing to press home its key message; that England offers the safest bet for a well delivered, low cost, money-spinning World Cup.
    ---------------------------------------

    Nothing in this country is "low cost".
    Alliterative hornet has already mentioned some of the things that need to be done, as well as putting the infrastructure in place for traffic links. Wembley is absolutely horrendous to get away from after a match.
    Clegg is a politician, don't believe what he says.

  • Comment number 55.

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

  • Comment number 56.

    " 52. At 5:24pm on 23 Aug 2010, Alliterative hornet wrote:

    Nick Clegg - "Our job is to show you we already have the infrastructure and facilities to host a World Cup."
    Apart from all those new stadia we'll need to build in order to host the tournament and the existing stadia that'll need improvement works to bring them up to the required standard."

    The 2 new stadia are going to be built regardless of whether we get the WC or not...these are being funded by their respective clubs (LFC and THFC).

    The existing grounds that are being put forward as part of the bid need very little doing to them apart from branding them to FIFA's specs.

    The only thing that concerns me is the transport infrastructure tbh.

  • Comment number 57.

    Everyone has said since it became obvious we'd apply to get the World Cup in 2018 that the only way we wouldn't get it was by showing arrogance. Unfortunately Lord Triesman and Co. have shown there are a fair few more ways to almost irreparably damage the bid, but it’s nice of Nick Clegg to go back to grassroots and make the most incompetent of errors! Honestly, who when trying to win a competition describes themselves as 'unbeatable'...

  • Comment number 58.

    Bond is talking rubbish. The guy must be a lib dem he thinks Nick Clegg paying a visit Helps.
    Wow big deal. Was Cameron the real leader busy washing his hair.
    The Spanish help the Portugese nice to see the English doing the same for everyone else in the UK. Not!

  • Comment number 59.

    Thanks England. Thanks for nothing.

  • Comment number 60.

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

  • Comment number 61.

    #42
    No offence meant Rob04, but you did rather prove my point. I thought the idea of a GB team as a one-off for the Olympics was a rather good idea, until Scotsmen started going into fits and shouting "We'd rather die first!" All 4 teams chipping in together might actually give us a chance of winning for once (which, with every passing year, seems to become a very distant propect for them as individual teams). We just wanted to try it once ..
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    None taken but there is just no market for this in Scotland. The SFA said NO early on and described it as a non-starter: and then the politicians got involved which always leads to things going a bit pear-shaped. I think it is very naive to assume that Blatter & Co wouldn't have tried to use a British set-up in the Olympics to then roll 4 associations into one..even the SFA guys on UEFA/FIFA were advising the SFA not to touch the idea with a barge pole...and they should know how less than truthful and fair these organisations are, especially when people like Blatter and Warner are involved.

    Isn't there a British team anyway..just full of English and Welsh under-23's? Can't remember if the Welsh are involved but I think the Northern Irish were similarly sceptical like us.

    There is of course another side to this as well. The English FA wanted Scotland, Wales and NIreland as part of an Olympic bid but probably wouldn't consider a wider UK WC bid!!

  • Comment number 62.

    I am surprised by the number of people on here hoping that we do not host it, I think it would be a highly enjoyable and as for not deserving it well who says the country that 'deserves' to win it does and how can we judge who is the most deserving? Whilst I am not a big fan of the way the Premiership has gone I think that the country as a whole would be welcoming hosts and it would certainly create a fell good factor in this country.

    However, the crucial point for the bid is winning favour from other blocs and with our media and tactless supposed representatives this could be our undoing as on paper we would otherwise have a good bid.

    2018 will go to Europe- leaving three main choices: Russia, Spain/Portugal and ourselves. Russia is a difficult one as it is a proud country with history, however locationally and politically this could suffer. Whilst FIFA do not like joint bids Spain/Portugal is strong, but could winning the World Cup hamper Spain's bid and give the sympathy vote to England?

    I think 2022 will be in Australia whatever, as I cannot imagine the heat and security problems of hosting the competition in Oman.

  • Comment number 63.

    He would say that...

  • Comment number 64.

    The football side of things might go ok but money will need to be spent on transport and sercurity which no doubt will over-run into millions like the Olympics.

  • Comment number 65.

    How silly of people to say Nick Clegg is unhelpful. What is he supposed to say? "This is a very beatable bid, I don't expect us to win".

    I agree that to assume we will win on the pitch is arrogance and garbage but when you are bidding to host a competition if you don't believe (or at least pretend to believe) that your bid is the best then how on earth can you expect others to?

    The person who said "Nick Clegg should go on a course of diplomacy" needs themselves to go on a course in negotiation skills and common sense.

  • Comment number 66.

    In what is probably the richest League in the world, with so much money sloshing around, I find it hard to believe that we still have so many stadia that to be honest aren't good enough when measured up against German and Spanish stadia.

    Why weren't we more proactive in adressing this a few years back when times were better. It's all very well saying that Football is insulated from all the economic problems - but you still need people to design and build the stadiums. These companies are now laying off people at the very time they should be recruiting more. Judging by the slow time it took to build Wembley (5 yrs!) and the Olympic stadium (4 by 2012). is it really wise to give England the 2018 bid or indeed the 2022 one? added to this the woeful displays by England at two successive world cups - this is hardly a great advert for English football or contruction lol....and one more thing, should ALL the stadia be at least 40,000 for a World Cup.....if this is so then MK, PLymouth, and Bristol among others have already failed.

    I want to get excited about all this but after a dreadful World Cup (for England) I can't really get too excited, and anyway, the Olympics in 2012 are what most Londoners are talking about now. The Olympics remains the biggest Sporting event in the world - no matter what FIFA say.

    Personally,I think Spain are in a better position, as they have more new stadia being built at the moment (New stadiums in Valencia, Barcelona, San Sebastian and one or two other new grounds) while we have....er, nothing. So much for the new grounds for Liverpool and Spurs....I don't see the plans for either getting off the ground in the next few years by which time it'll be too late. I think we'll lose out to Spain, and then either Australia or Russia will get it in 2022.

    We need a new approach....as the 'home of football' slogan that worked so well for Euro 96 is no longer working. I suspect many people probably see Brazil as the real home of football anyway. As I mentioned earlier we have done ourselves no favours by having two poor world cups in a row. Our footballers did no favours for the F.A, and the FA are failing English football in general, through a chronic lack of strong leadership or decisiveness in getting anything positive done. Without these things we won't win.

  • Comment number 67.

    Sadly, no one has yet mentioned the worst aspect of this. If England does win the bid and host the World Cup, we will be subject, yet again, to embarrassing logos and mascots that make absolutely no sense to anyone other than the designer, and the department that throws way too many pounds their way.
    On the bright side, if we do host, chances are we might not struggle to qualify, and the FA can boast how they went through the campiagn unbeaten, before complaining that the lack of competitive games in the run-up was the reason we lost 3-0 to Togo, 2-1 to Chile and drew 0-0 with Nepal.

  • Comment number 68.

    What an embarrasing set of comments. Unbelieveable. I bet that England is the only country in the world where apparently the vast majority of the public do not want to host the World Cup. You'd have thought that no-one in England really likes football reading some of the things said here.
    Apart from being a once in a lifetime experience and an incredible amount of fun for all who love football, winning the bid will give the FA time to put some thought (and action obviously) into grass-root development of players and coaches to hopefully build something very good long-term.
    And everyone who's complaining about how the tax-payer will suffer blah blah after the Olympics etc blah blah, the fact is that alomost none of the stadia would need any funding (and if it did it would come from the FA [who are far too rich anyway] not the government) and if a bit of government funding was required to improve transport around the country then it's about time!
    I hope politics doesn't stop England winning the bid, it's time to get all that rubbish out of football.

  • Comment number 69.

    #68
    winning the bid will give the FA time to put some thought (and action obviously) into grass-root development of players and coaches to hopefully build something very good long-term.
    ------------------------------------------

    Like they did after 1966?

  • Comment number 70.

    "Like they did after 1966?"

    -----------------------------------

    Oh yeah because the FA in 1966 had hundreds of millions of pounds in the bank to spend back then.

  • Comment number 71.

    I don't know if they'll be voting 2018 and 2022 together--but worry that there may be a reluctance to have back to back WC's in English speaking countries. By this I mean if England are 2018, would US or Australia be able to get 2022 (or otherway round).

    As a yank, I'd like to hold WC again--knowing it would rankle some as we've hosted in the not too distant pass. Our last WC is still the most highly attended (with fewer games), and we'd have no problem matching/exceeding that as football is much more popular now than then (which would hopefully improve the atmosphere over the last WC). However, love Australia and they'd be wonderful hosts as well.

    But, to my opening point, if the vote for 2022 is flowing towards Aus or US, would voters in the back of their minds be anti-England because of possibility of consecutive WC's in English speaking countries?

  • Comment number 72.

    #71,

    fair point but looking back a few years, it went 1978 Argentina, 1982 Spain, 1986 Mexico who are all Spanish speaking countries so they certainly won't have that as an excuse and shouldn't be thinking like that

  • Comment number 73.

    #10,
    I too was thinking along similar lines, but would probably get moderated if I actually tried to say so.

    But some questions the BBC might allow are:
    How many of this six-man "commitee" speak Italian? Or are they going to converse with Capello in English?

    Will Capello get any of the credit if the England bid succeeds?
    ...or just all of the blame if it fails?

    :)

  • Comment number 74.

    65. At 6:47pm on 23 Aug 2010, stevieeng34 wrote:
    How silly of people to say Nick Clegg is unhelpful. What is he supposed to say? "This is a very beatable bid, I don't expect us to win".

    I agree that to assume we will win on the pitch is arrogance and garbage but when you are bidding to host a competition if you don't believe (or at least pretend to believe) that your bid is the best then how on earth can you expect others to?

    The person who said "Nick Clegg should go on a course of diplomacy" needs themselves to go on a course in negotiation skills and common sense.


    Frankly, it's silly to suggest that 'this is a very beatable bid' was Nick Clegg's only other alternative.

    There's nothing wrong with showing confidence, but to say that the bid is 'unbeatable' sounds like over-confidence. I dare say Nick Clegg was only intending it as a figure of speech, but it's the sort of comment that can be used by the opposition against us.

  • Comment number 75.

    OK Fine Mr.Clegg!
    BUT what about the cost of it and will it be worth it?
    At a time when your government is cutting back just about everything we have why should the taxpayer fund this at all?!
    Just after the country is "broke" and recovering from the Olympics we have another massive bill?
    Oh and our football is rubbish too!
    I just say - give it to Russia instead!

  • Comment number 76.

    #70

    Oh yeah because the FA in 1966 had hundreds of millions of pounds in the bank to spend back then.
    --------------------------------------------------

    You counted the money then?
    And you've counted the money now?
    How much will they have left after all the, escalating, costs are taken into consideration?

  • Comment number 77.

    #19 Australia are not bidding for 2018, its 2022 they are after as its become pretty clear that one of the 3 UEFA bids will win.

    #30 If Russia wins the bid for 2018 then England and other UEFA countries cannot bid again until 2030. Once a confederation hosts the WC they cannot bid for the next two tournaments.

    #66. Bristol, MK and Plymouth all have plans to expand to the minimum 40,000 seats required by 2018. Plymouth for example will be 46,000 eventually. MK have plans for another tier taking capacity to just over 43.000.

  • Comment number 78.

    #76,

    "You counted the money then?
    And you've counted the money now?
    How much will they have left after all the, escalating, costs are taken into consideration?"

    -------------------

    I think you are clutching at straws with a comment like that. Of course I haven't counted the money, and I didn't in 1966 either. But the FA can afford to pay Capello £5/6m per year, and I'm fairly sure Sir Alf didn't get that. So it's fair to say we are now a very rich football association and I'm sure they will be able to produce whatever money is required to help the tournament.

  • Comment number 79.

    BobYule, not suggesting Nick Clegg had only one alternative but people criticise him on here just because he is a politician. The only time the 'unbeatable' bid will be used against us is IF we do end up losing the press will use it as a stick to beat Clegg with IF at that time he is out of favour.

    Are you going to tune in to the Russian bid and expect to hear them say "I think our bid is reasonably good" or "Our bid is definitely in the top five".

    Get real sunshine.

  • Comment number 80.

    #78
    So it's fair to say we are now a very rich football association and I'm sure they will be able to produce whatever money is required to help the tournament.
    ----------------------------------------

    I think you're the one clutching at straws.
    Let me remind you of your original comment:

    "winning the bid will give the FA time to put some thought (and action obviously) into grass-root development of players and coaches to hopefully build something very good long-term."

    Your argument is not about funding the tournament, but investing in grass roots.
    The FA has had the money for years, ever since sponsorship/Sky took over.
    So how have they invested it so far.
    If they are a very rich association (your assertion) why haven't they done this "development in grass roots" before now?
    Where are all the coaches? How many British coaches in the PL?
    Where is this youth development centre they keep talking about?
    Why should they do it now by bidding for the WC?
    Yeah, sure, the FA have been investing their millions very wisely.

    Decide what your argument is, funding the tournament or developing coaches and players.

  • Comment number 81.

    Pros for England:-
    Logistically a small country so easy for fans and teams to get round unlike South Africa or Brazil - not to mention Russia, USA etc. Attractive and realistic for tens of thousands of fans to visit like Germany '06... As for French trains, lol! Aside from a couple of fast lines they are expensive, infrequent and often ancient.

    Pre-existing facilities - from the stadia to the transport links, the airports and hotels we're 95% there already. Of the possible stadia if MK (unlikely), Bristol or Plymouth do get the nod (final total likely to be 12 max) they will be built up to beyond the 40,000 minimum...

    Less risk - the stadiums will be full, attendances for many sports in England are the envy of the world... no panic that stadia won't be ready most are already there... after the worries surrounding 2010 and Brazil 2014 not to mention the ongoing chaos of Euro 2012 in Eastern Europe Poland/Ukraine.

    Money - with less construction needed, full stadia and our, ahem willingness to pay top dollar to attend various elite sporting events means more profit for FIFA, not to mention the games go out at prime time for the lucrative European tv markets. Also no white elephant stadia (except perhaps Bristol/Plymouth/MK IF any get choosen.

    History & present day - founders of the modern game, often partly responsible for kick starting football in other nations. Wembley old and new... the Premier League love it or hate it shows our football worldwide.

    Multicultural capital, support for many visiting teams, promises of helping develop football in less wealthy counties (already an ongoing program)...

    Against:- Politics. Football administration here is riven with rivalries causing several unfortunate problems etc. Basically we're not very good at "playing the FIFA game"... Undoubtedly we have the best bid but FIFA politics doesn't always work that way...

  • Comment number 82.

    "England World Cup Bid Unbeatable" Sounds like a BBC pundit conversation prior to South Africa

  • Comment number 83.

    In my view it comes down to us or Russia. Spain/Portugal don't stand a chance as there's little financial support from their governments and their ecconomies are fairly weak. Euro 2004 also cost Portugal a lot of money.

    Russia seems the most likely to me as through private investors they've got the most money to bribe the FIFA delegates and we all know that's what decides a large proportion of the votes. I just hope there's enough honest delegates so England with it's on paper better bid to win.

  • Comment number 84.

    Yes, but many of our stadia to put it bluntly just aren't up to it. Hillsbrough and Elland Road - stadiums full of history but hardly cutting edge....ditto Villa Park, and the City ground. All looking abit 'tired' for want of a better word. I ask myself why we don't have as many top class stadiums as in Germany? Our league is much richer than the Bundesliga yet we don't use money effectively in England. Instead of setting aside a set amount for a stadium or for building youth acdemies at all the top clubs it's all blown on payers excessive wages + perks, with much of the rest going to agents....which leaves a pitiful amount to go back into the game or to build proper decent modern stadiums.

    The F.A are too blind to see this though.....well what do you expect from a leaderless organisation with no direction?



  • Comment number 85.

    Some of the German grounds look good because they were rebuilt for 2006 - d'oh! Some of ours will be renovated, that's what happens prior to a WC... But we have a very good basis to start with compared with other nations...

  • Comment number 86.

    Gillsed
    Logistically a small country so easy for fans and teams to get round
    -------------------------------------------------

    Poor road systems, look how congested they get.
    Poor train systems, late, dirty and expensive.
    Wembley a nightmare to get out of.

  • Comment number 87.

    "79. At 8:43pm on 23 Aug 2010, stevieeng34 wrote:
    BobYule, not suggesting Nick Clegg had only one alternative but people criticise him on here just because he is a politician. The only time the 'unbeatable' bid will be used against us is IF we do end up losing the press will use it as a stick to beat Clegg with IF at that time he is out of favour.

    Are you going to tune in to the Russian bid and expect to hear them say "I think our bid is reasonably good" or "Our bid is definitely in the top five".

    Get real sunshine."

    Once again, you're suggesting that the only alternative to saying your bid is 'unbeatable' is to say something half-hearted.

    You can praise your own bid to the skies as much as you want. However, the problem with saying that your bid is 'unbeatable' is that you're downplaying what the opposition has to offer, and pre-empting the judges opinions. That's crossing a certain boundary.

    Besides, it's daft. No bid can be described as 'unbeatable', because no bid is perfect.

  • Comment number 88.

    #####
    56. At 5:49pm on 23 Aug 2010, MegaSpur wrote:
    " 52. At 5:24pm on 23 Aug 2010, Alliterative hornet wrote:
    Nick Clegg - "Our job is to show you we already have the infrastructure and facilities to host a World Cup."
    Apart from all those new stadia we'll need to build in order to host the tournament and the existing stadia that'll need improvement works to bring them up to the required standard."
    The 2 new stadia are going to be built regardless of whether we get the WC or not...these are being funded by their respective clubs (LFC and THFC).
    The existing grounds that are being put forward as part of the bid need very little doing to them apart from branding them to FIFA's specs.
    #####
    Actually, there are more than 2 new stadia in the bid - Plymouth, Spurs, Bristol City, Nottingham Forest and Liverpool (although the bid admits they may still be at Anfield).
    There will be substantial construction at Milton Keynes.
    The work at many of the other grounds is more than just trivial to bring them up to spec. For example, as far as I'm aware Old Trafford, St James Park, Hillsbrough and the Stadium of Light don't have the two jumbo video screens required.

  • Comment number 89.

    As has already been stated, most of the infrastructure is in place right now. This is an opportunity for tourism and marketing Britain as a whole. I would hope that all the hotels and B&Bs would not raise their prices, but in fact lower them to encourage the import of other countries fans in their masses.
    We have a excellent transport system for air, land and sea. Winning the bid to host the world cup in 2018 would set the country buzzing and give us all something to look forward to. Our TV network is second to none, and we could supply the world with quality feed right through the tournament. We could get everyone on board, big name musicians to provide open air concerts, theatre, movies stars, the lot, to provide a international spectacle that Britain is renowned for. When not watching football, the tourists have Britain itself to enjoy, and every where within easy reach. All we have to do is get the price right and provide the quality service.

  • Comment number 90.

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

  • Comment number 91.

    russia has one of the highest level of alochomlism in the world and is In fact Russia ranks #1 in world alcohol spending.

    On a weekly average Russians consume about ½ pint of pure alcohol. Currently there are well over 2 million alcoholics in the country. Of these, more children are becoming addicted, with their first drink being taken around the age of 13. Current statistics show that over 70% of girls and 76% of boys use alcohol at least twice a month.

  • Comment number 92.

    Some modest remarks from Germany (in a slightly willful order):

    I think a vast majority of Germans are favouring England.

    Beckenbauer, still pretty influential on the world's football scene, has for a long time heralded England and will continue to do so, as will others.

    In 2018 it will have to be a European country.

    England has great stadia (what is still needed will be easily provided early enough).

    Whatever infrastructure shortcomings may exist now, they will be properly dealt with by the time WC '18 starts.

    England has football fans who can create a hell of an atmosphere - not only in support of their own fans.

    Winning the bid for '18 could possibly reshuffle the modes of thinking within the FA and thus contribute to a long-term strategy to ameliorate the national side's quality of football.

    Hopefully there would not be any vuvuzelas.

    England 2018 might be the very last chance for me personally to watch a WC on the scene, facing a moderate travel distance and being able to rely on English friends' hospitality.

  • Comment number 93.

    As long as Blatter Platini Cryuff etc the ABE(anyone but England)crowd all have influence in football England wont get a sniff of the world cup or the european championships.

  • Comment number 94.

    I dont see how there can be competition, England are by far the best country to host a world cup. We have good functioning transport links, much better than Spain and Russia. Even if u dont think our public transport is good, compared to the rest of the world it is amazing believe me!

    England is also a very tolerant society we have many people from different cultures in this country that live in relative harmony here. You always hear about neo nazi russians beating up black students in St Petersburg and Moscow, quite frankly id be scared if i was a non European to set foot in that country! We all remember the Spanish monkey chants when the England football team were last playing in Spain.

    All our infrastructure, ie stadiums are already built and functioning and they wont go to waste as theyr always used by football clubs. You know Russian stadiums are gna go to waste once the w/c is over with if it is held there. Its up to FIFA to see sense really, the only issue is geopolitics, im pretty sure Russias oil will come in handy when they bribe other countries to back theyr bid.

  • Comment number 95.

    I've never taken longer than 50 minutes from my seat (never leaving before final whistle) to being on the platform at Victoria, Charing Cross or St Pancras... pretty darn good if you ask me when you consider a 88,000 crowd on a midweek evening! I've been to football in 20+ countries and getting out of Wembley is as good or better than many other large stadia (certainly better than the flaming tram at Old Trafford!). You don't expect 80,000+ people to vanish into thin air do you? Try a full house midweek at the Stade de France or Olympic Stadium Berlin and then compare and contrast!!! Even the much vaunted Cardiff - a total joke! England fans had a nightmare in SA getting to and from grounds, especially Rustenburg...

    You might think our trains are expensive, well yeah, dirty? Well it perhaps depends when you live, here in Kent the new High Speeds ones are superb and the regular ones are greatly improved... as for a "poor system" that is in Portugal (Lisbon, Guimaraes) or France (Even towns as close as Lens to Lille!) when the last train to anywhere leaves town well before the game finishes - I assume you've never been to other tournaments and tried to use the train - thousands of England fans stranded in Lisbon in '04 after last train back north vanished from the timetable a month before the start after fans had bought tickets and made plans... Germany was pretty good (very expensive) but the exception rather than the rule...

    If Russia gets it that will make potentially four really tough World Cups on the trot logistically (SA/Brazil/Russia/USA or Aust?) - you might have noticed the World didn't turn up in numbers in SA? Why? Too expensive to get there and once there no public transport and huge distances... Our public transport might not be perfect but at least we have some. I can get to any League ground and back on a Saturday in a day from Canterbury by train - that is the sort of thing people need if they are to attend a World Cup... As for the roads, well they might be bad but compare with Sao Paulo or Jo'burg and you'll even be wishing you were on the M25!

  • Comment number 96.

    Other bids have problems too:-

    Russia - poor existing facilities, rampant racism & hooliganism at games (think us 30 years ago x10!), huge logistical challenge, being compared with the shambles in Ukraine for 2012... Visa, red tape, lack of cheap hotels, poor roads, sheer size of country... poor crowds domestically.

    Spain/Portugal - low key, joint bid, Portugal reluctance to spend, danger of White elephant stadia - Spain alone would have been stronger.

    Belgium/Netherlands - Lack of stadia and perhaps several white elephants, lack that "wow" factor? Joint bids not popular with FIFA...

    USA - Had it recently, not a traditional "football country" - mind you they have some stunning existing stadia... Obviously the logistics of a huge country and lack of public transport in many possible cities a significant issue...

    Australia - wrong time zone for the Europe & Americas tv markets. Huge distances to get there and then around. Three suitable stadia at the moment, disputes locally over use of Aussie Rules grounds during their season plus who wants to try and watch a football game in the middle of a cricket pitch?

    Japan - just held it...

    South Korea - just held it, lots of white elephant stadia...

    Qatar - too small, not enough stadia or hotels or public transport... hot!

    At the moment it looks like 2018 between Europe's 4 and 2022 between USA & Australia...

    If USA get 2022 and Europe 2018 (can't then host again until 2030) then Asia will be favourites in 2026 with China a possibility...

  • Comment number 97.

    England haven't got a chance against a strongly-backed Russian bid ... hands up who really thinks the Premiership and lower dinosaur stadia are really suitable for a World Cup?!

    Russia has huge potential, England would just be a repeat of Euro 96, only hopefully slightly less xenophobic.

  • Comment number 98.

    Ahhh, more quality journalism.....'All the candidates for 2018 are now European - except for the United States'. Does that include Qatar in the Middle East....???

  • Comment number 99.

    Reasons why I would like England to get it :
    No vuvuzelas
    Excellent stadia that would be full every match
    Perfect match times
    Good atmosphere instead of the awful South African atmosphere
    No programs in between halves and matches explaining how poor and helpless the country is

    Reasons why I would not like England to get it :
    The team will have its best chance of winning
    The pundits wont shutup about it
    The fans wont shutup about it
    Will probably rain
    Programs in between halves and matches explaining why and how England will win

  • Comment number 100.

    I delayed reading this article yesterday as I was expecting to be left disappointed by the lack of insight. Yet again David you fail to look deeply into a subject (yet again a football topic!)

    The bid hasn't been managed well, plus I agree with a previous poster that the 'Back the Bid' slogan is nonsense - though slightly better than the arrogant 'Football's coming home' of 2006.

    Yes we could host it, but some of the stadia put forwards aren't good enough, World Cup games don't get played in 25,000 capacity stadiums - or at least they shouldn't!

    The sad fact is that Sepp Blatter wants to take it to Russia, he wants to be the president who takes it there. Russia is seen as a super power who deserves to host it. So much work would be needed in Russia and I wonder if the outlay will be worth it for them.

    I personally hope we get it, as long as it results in improved infrastructure as our rail network could really benefit from more modernisation.

 

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