Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

England Lining Up Bid for World Cup

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

England Lining Up Bid for World Cup

Article excerpt

Fifa vice-president David Will yesterday gave his support to a potential England World Cup bid claiming they would have a "very strong" chance of hosting the tournament.

It has been revealed that the ground is being prepared for England to launch a campaign to stage the tournament in 2018, when the World Cup is expected to return to Europe.

Scottish lawyer Will, one of the 24-man Fifa executive committee who decide on World Cup hosts, believes an England bid would have much more chance of success than when they bid for the 2006 tournament but polled just two votes. He said: "I would think England would have a very strong bid. The English bid for 2006 was much stronger than appeared from the pattern of voting but so much has changed since then anyway.

"Since they bid for 2006 the FA have started an enormous international assistance programme.

"They realised after the 2006 bid that the FA had become a little bit unknown in some parts of the world and have started this huge programme ( that's bound to help.

"Many other things have been developed too that would make a bid much stronger next time."

Will said there was a "strong likelihood" that the 2018 tournament would be in Europe ( under Fifa's new rotational system South Africa are the hosts in 2010 and a South American country ( probably Brazil ( in 2014.

Talks about an England bid took place this week involving ministers, Government officials and UK Sport and the Football Association have also been consulted.

The Government will wait until the outcome of the London 2012 Olympic bid before making a final decision but a World Cup campaign for the 2018 tournament looks increasingly likely.

Sports minister Richard Caborn said: "We have had discussions this week about whether we should throw our hat into the ring, and talked seriously about it. …

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