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FIFA Backs England 2018 Bid….Well Sort Of

Fingers and toes crossed!

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England’s 2018 World Cup bid is viewed as low risk by Fifa, although the world governing body has flagged up concerns over training camp and hotel provision.
Due to be published on Wednesday, the executive summary – obtained by the BBC – is only part of the full report that Fifa will base its final decision on.
England’s main rivals – the joint Spanish and Portuguese bid and Russia – are also given a “low risk” rating.
The vote to decide the hosts of the 2018 event is on 2 December.
Across 17 risk categories, Russia lies just behind England and Spain/Portugal, while the joint bid from Netherlands and Belgium has received a medium risk assessment.

The bidder has not contracted the required number of venue-specific training sites or venue-specific team hotels
Fifa on England’s bid
Although there is not thought to be any overall ranking, it is understood England and Spain/Portugal have the most low risk gradings across those 17 categories, while Russia’s bid has more medium risk assessments.
The full Fifa report will not to be made public but the executive summary highlighted some criticisms of England’s bid.
“The bidder has not contracted the required number of venue-specific training sites or venue-specific team hotels,” says the report.
“Additional training sites, likely to be selected from England’s existing range of professional club stadiums and training sites, may have to be considered.
“In terms of accommodation, the bidder proposes a relatively large inventory. However, the fact that not many of the rooms have been contracted in full compliance with Fifa’s template hotel agreement requires further analysis and potentially renegotiation. Fifa could be exposed to excessive pricing.”

However, an England 2018 spokesman played down the significance of Fifa’s comments, saying: “These are minor contractual issues which are already being dealt with by Fifa.”
England’s bid is given a glowing report on transport, IT infrastructure and technology, event safety, marketing, media and communication, while its £455m budget has been “submitted in the format required”.

WORLD CUP BID REPORTS
ENGLAND BID
Good points: Transport, stadia, IT, security, marketing, legacy
Bad points: Too few venue-specific training sites or venue-specific team hotels, too few training base camp hotels
SPAIN/PORTUGAL BID
Good points: Stadia, transport, hotels, legacy
Bad points: Lack of clear security plan, co-hosting “a challenge”
RUSSIA BID
Good points: 13 planned new stadia, hotels, legacy
Bad points: Huge transport challenge and major building programme needed
NETHERLANDS/BELGIUM BID
Good points: Stadia, legacy
Bad points: Too few hotel rooms, co-hosting “a challenge”, lack of government guarantees
(BBC Sport)

Firstly it is good to see a report in relation to England’s 2018 Bid that doesn’t imply that an investigation by a national newspaper has anything whatsoever to do with the country’s ability to host a World Cup, secondly it seems that overall the England bid appears to be leading, just, the race to win the bid.

It does seem hard to believe that there would be a shortage of venue-specific team hotels given that every venue selected must have good links to nearby accommodation as clearly such accommodation is used on a regular basis by visiting teams.

Of course it is always easy to find faults if you are looking for them. One slight confusion. The Russian bid has listed as a good point “13 planned new stadia” when surely this could just as easily be considered a bad point, after all if these stadia have not even been built yet how can FIFA be sure that a) they will be ready in time and b) whether they are suitable venues?

Pleasantly surprised that England’s transport network has been given a glowing report, those of us who travel on it on a day to day basis may feel otherwise, but hey ho. Roll on December 2nd when no doubt England will fail to get the tournament they so clearly deserve. Yes I am being hopelessly pessimistic as I don’t want to tempt fate. Can you imagine just how great it would be to have a World Cup in the country? Fingers crossed!

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