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World Cup 2018


England bid has the big mo

Reports from Zurich suggest that the England bid for the 2018 World Cup is gathering momentum at just the right time, the last lap.  But will it be enough to carry the bid across the finishing line?  We will know this afternoon.

Only England can meet Fifa sales targets

A study has concluded that only England can meet Fifa's sales targets for the 2018 World Cup.  However, Spain and Portugal - the real competitors - can meet 91 per cent of the targets.

Indications from Zurich suggest that this is increasingly a contest between England and the Iberian countries.   Belgium and the Netherlands were never front runners in my view and Russia has been falling away fast.

Panorama programme was a mistake

Having watched last night's BBC Panorama programme on Fifa, I am even more convinced that its screening at that time was mistake.   Its defenders will no doubt point out that it exposed apparent serious corruption on the part of three Fifa officials, if one is to believe the contents of the document flourished on the programme which had arrived in a brown envelope from a 'trusted source'.

Who will host the 2018 World Cup?

The smart money is now on Spain and Portugal hosting the 2018 World Cup.   Spain are the World Cup holders; they have one of the best two leagues in the world (some would say the best); and both countries have some impressive stadia.   Transport links by rail within Spain have improved by leaps and bounds.

Pink 'un slams Fifa

The Lex column in the Financial Times has published a searing attack on Fifa after it decided to change none of its procedures for handling bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups after recent revelations.   Quite rightly, Lex argues that Fifa lacks transparency and adequate decision-making procedures.

Bristol City stadium blow

Bristol City have suffered a setback in a scheme to build a new 30,000-seat stadium but are determined to press ahead.  The £92m stadium was planned as a venue for England's 2018 World Cup bid.

Campaigners have won a significant victory to protect the site in fhe Ashton Vale area of the city.  Following a public inquiry, the inspector said that the land should be given town green status.

Sports supremo waits for outcome of World Cup bid

The Coalition Government's sports minister Hugh Robertson is determined to sort out what are generally agreed to be dysfunctional governance structures of the national game at the Football Association (FA).   However, he recognises that it would be best to wait for the outcome of England's 2018 World Cup bid in December.

Row Over England World Cup Venues

Whether England's bid to stage the 2018 World Cup will succeed is doubtful, but the choice of potential venues has already provoked controversy. 15 stadiums were chosen, supposedly on the basis of a stringent list of criteria which focused on the host city as much as the stadium itself. Each bid faced one hour of questioning from the panel. However, there are suspicions that geographical balance came into play, although eight of the 15 chosen stadiums are in London, the North West and the North East.