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Which are England's best grounds for World Cup 2018?

Steve Boulton | 19:24 UK time, Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Now that England has announced it is bidding for the 2018 World Cup, here at Football Focus we’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves and planning where we’re going to watch all the games. We’d like your suggestions as to where the best grounds in England are.

There are some ground rules. Fifa apparently like to have a maximum of 12 stadia hosting any particular World Cup. Each venue must hold at least 40,000 fans. And they prefer only one city to have more than one ground.

So, if London provided Wembley plus another ground or two (say the Emirates and Stamford Bridge), this would leave tough choices over Manchester and Birmingham. Merseyside might just sneak by without a kerfuffle. Everton’s new ground is due to be built in Kirkby which is outside the official boundary of Liverpool. Phew.


There’s no reason, except perhaps for delays and cash, that England couldn’t splash out and build a new stadium. Plymouth surely wouldn’t moan about a new 55,000 seater, ‘Tommy Tynan Towers.’ Or what about the ‘Harry Haddock Dome’ at Grimsby? Apologies. Am already wearing coat.

Another question I have, is why not use Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium? Or Hampden Park? Politically a hot potato. But it makes sense to me and if the French Rugby World Cup can also include Welsh and Scottish grounds… surely England can?

Focus did an interview with World Cup bid ambassador Richard Caborn as part of our film for Saturday. He suggests the grounds would more than likely be all English and that plans would probably involve building on existing stadia rather than starting from scratch somewhere else.

German captain Jurgen Klinsmann receives the European Championsihp trophy from the Queen at Wembley, 1996

By the way, during Euro ’96 games were played at eight grounds. Capacities at the time in brackets. Wembley (78,000), Old Trafford (55,000), Anfield (41,000), Villa Park (40,000), Elland Road (40,000), Hillsborough (39,000), St James’ Park (37,000 – wow, that and Old Trafford have shot up a bit) and Nottingham’s City Ground (30,000)

Here’s looking forward to hearing your choices of perfect venues for World Cup 2018 in England. To get things going Stuart, a Watford fan in the Focus team, has given me his choices. Enjoy.

Wembley, Arsenal, Chelsea, Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest, Manchester United, Liverpool, Everton, Leeds, Sunderland, Newcastle, Bristol City (rebuild), Watford (mmmmhh).

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