FIFA receive bid from crocked LA Galaxy man.
Global football icon David Beckham has delivered the 1,752-page bid book which he hopes will persuade Fifa to award England the 2018 World Cup.
Football’s world governing body will announce the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 tournaments on 2 December.
“We have a lot of passion; football is something which runs through our veins,” said Beckham, who gave the book to Fifa chief Sepp Blatter in Zurich.
Competition comes from the likes of Russia and a joint Dutch-Belgian bid.
Nine candidates, in alphabetical order starting with Australia, are handing over their bids to Blatter on Friday morning.
England bid organisers believe that one of their trump cards is the ability to drive up the commercial revenues of the event.
Fifa is expected to net £2.1bn in TV and sponsorship from the 2010 World Cup, and England estimates it can increase that income by a third, taking it near the £3bn mark.
And new British Prime Minister David Cameron said he and the new coalition government were fully behind the bid.
“The World Cup is a cause that unites the nation like no other,” said Cameron in a letter of support in the bid book.
“Football is at the heart of so many of our communities and there can be no doubt that England would offer a warm and passionate welcome to fans and players in 2018.
“We will do everything in our power to help win the honour of hosting this prestigious event.”
In 2005 Beckham played a part in helping Britain win the right to stage the 2012 Olympics and the Football Association is hoping he can have a similarly galvanising effect in persuading Fifa to allow England to stage the World Cup for the first time since 1966.
WORLD CUP BIDDERS
Japan (2022 only)
Qatar (2022 only)
South Korea (2022 only)
And the former England captain, who is leading the five-strong England delegation in Zurich, has published a two-page letter outlining the strengths of the 2018 bid.
“It shows how passionate we are as a nation for football, how our society is amongst the most diverse in the world with communities ready to welcome every team,” said Beckham, England’s most capped outfield player, in an open letter.
In a nod to the success of the 2005 Olympic bid, when Amber Charles, then a 14-year-old basketball player from the borough of Newham, helped present London’s case for 2012, Beckham will be joined by three teenagers: Nothemba Bambiso from South Africa (a representative of FA charity Coaching for Hope), Eddie Afekafe from Manchester and Kadra Ege from London.
“Football has the power to change lives and these youngsters are able to learn valuable lesson through their love of the game,” said Beckham. (BBC Sport)
There will always be those who feel that the main reason that England have not staged the World Cup in 44 years is the anti-English bias bent that many believe that FIFA has and whilst such complaints may be overemphasized it does seem strange that other nations, such as Germany and Mexico have staged the showpiece tournament twice in the intervening time period since the victorious 1966 campaign. Such statements may well be countered by the argument that a nation as football mad as Brazil, set to host the 2014 World Cup, had to wait 64 years to host it again.
By all accounts England are one of the favourites to win the 2018 and clearly the manner in which the nation secured the 2012 Olympic Games may well hold the country in good stead when it comes to the final decision on the hosts which will be announced on December 2nd.
A host of dignitaries, sportsman and politicians have backed the bid and there is no doubting that England has more than its fair share of top notch stadia and clearly the country is more than suited to dealing with the demands of hosting the tournament and a big bonus is that there will not be a great deal of money needed from the government purse to pay for such an event as everything is already in place with all the major venues selected for the bid already built and ready for action.