Despite 2012 Olympic budget woes UK says bring on World Cup in 2018

By Kevin Hilton

SVG European correspondent

The UK’s 2012 Olympic preparations are already running over budget
but the government today declared that England should host the World
Cup in 2018. The Chancellor of the Exchequer (chief finance minister),
Gordon Brown, and Secretary of State for Culture, Tessa Jowell, were at
the new Wembley Stadium to announce the publication of a report into
the feasibility of staging the event.

The study concludes that England is a strong position to host the
event due to its stadiums and transport and tourism structure. The
public also supports the idea, with nine out of ten people surveyed in
a favour of a bid. Gordon Brown commented, “By 2018 it will be more
than 50 years since England first hosted the World Cup and I believe it
is time the tournament returned to the nation which gave football to
the world.”

With South Africa hosting the 2010 World Cup and the 2014 event set
to take place in South America, most likely Brazil, 2018 will be the
first opportunity for a European nation to act as host.

The UK Treasury report states that at the moment six stadia in
England fit FIFA rules and by 2018 this could be as many as 11. Any
official bid would have to be made by the Football Association (FA),
which welcomed the government’s support. FA chief executive Brian
Barwick commented, “FIFA has not yet announced which continent will be
awarded the 2018 World Cup but if it does come to Europe the FA will
give very serious consideration to a bid.”
The English public will doubtless support any bid for superstitious
reasons; the last time the World Cup was held in the country the
England team won.

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