The World Invited
For a few months now, you may have noticed a little red box at the side of this page saying ‘Back The Bid’. This is something that the whole nation seems to be getting behind, whether you are in any of the eleven host cities or just in England in general. This is backing the bid for the 2018 World Cup to be held in the so called home of football.
Yes, England has hosted it once before, back in 1966 for the only time the World Cup has reached these shores. I’m sure everyone is aware of it, even if you were not born back then, with the fans on the pitch and they think its all over. It was a success, but still 1966 is the one time England have hosted the World Cup.
Italy have hosted it twice, Germany have hosted it twice, France have hosted it twice, Mexico have hosted it twice and Brazil will be all set to host it twice come 2014. It is time that England has the chance to be able to do things all over again for the second time in the 88 year history of the tournament in 2018.
And you know what, everything is all perfectly set up to allow England host the World Cup.
The host cities and all the venues are more or less perfectly set up. And this is why each and every place is perfect.
The structure for eleven of the venues is pretty much already there, Wembley, Old Trafford and the Emirates Stadium need no development to it. Then there is the City of Manchester Stadium which can go up to 70,000. The two north east stadiums of St. James Park and the Stadium of Light are all set to be bigger than 60,000 and there is the improvement of Villa Park, Elland Road, Hillsborough, Stadium:mk and Home Park to make it suitable for World Cup standards.
And then there are the new stadiums. In London, the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium has been proposed, a promising looking stadium to be the third venue inside the capital, and if that doesn’t work, there is always the possibility of the Olympic Stadium, which is all scheduled to still be in use after the games in 2010, with West Ham looking to be likely owners. And then there are the new stadiums planned for Nottingham and Bristol, all set to be built if England win the right to host these games.
All the stadiums are fantastic (yes, even the Emirates), all will be modern. Some retain the traditional style of English stadiums, the likes of Villa Park and Anfield. Without doubt, England has the best set of stadiums of any of the potential 2018 and even 2022 candidates.
Sure, the USA have all their stadiums, but they won’t be full. Right now the average MLS attendance at each of the 16 teams in the league is only 16,595 (calculated by mls-daily.com). The World Cup will bring in new fans and of course foreign support, but empty seats looked bad at South Africa this year, there is no chance that you can realistically achieve 70,000+ attendances for all 64 games, especially if the likes of Greece and South Korea decide to play each other.
There is only two other bids that concerns me, I like Spain-Portugal. But one thing for sure is that there is a seemingly lack of venues coming from Portugal, which could affect them in the long run and the fact it would be the Spanish third world cup they have hosted. And there is Russia, a bid which I reckon will run England close. Russia is an improving football nation, the performance at Euro 2008 was impressive, they are getting into this sport, they’ve got some good venues planned, and more importantly, like the way they did with South Africa, is breaking some new ground, Russia is the biggest county on earth, give it the World Cup and it could boost football massively there.
But in the end, there is only one seemingly logical option, and that is England, home of the best places in the world. London, the capital, the centre of the bid. The beauty and totally football mad location of NewcastleGateshead. The youthful feel of Milton Keynes and the sporting city of Birmingham. Even Sunderland is brilliant.
Transport is good, with the airports and roads more than capable to handle to influx of visitors to each of the host cities. Infrastructure is perfect, what more do you want. Eight years until the proposed games and everything is already pretty much set up.
The big names are behind it, from the president of the FA Prince William, to cricketer Andrew Flintoff and golfer Lee Westwood and even that famous predicting octopus from Weymouth, Paul.
Everyone in England should be behind this, from the Olympics in 2012, the two codes of Rugby having the World Cup here in 2013 and 2015 and the Cricket World Cup in 2019. What better way to top it all off than the FIFA World Cup in 2018. A perfect decade of sport.
England United, and the whole world is invited.