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Fans called on to Back the Bid

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and Supporters Direct merged to become the FSA in 2019 – so this page may contain hyperlinks that do not work and/or have missing files. Our archived pages are not maintained and will not be updated.

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FIFA inspectors are today on their way home following their visit to assess England’s bid for the World Cup 2018. The visit seems to have been a success with the six-man team praising England’s stadiums, transport facilities as well as the appetite of fans for their country to host the World Cup.

Fans will have high hopes that the positive messages coming from FIFA mean the bid is fully back on track following a difficult year. “Throughout what we have called “Back the Bid” week, supporters have been signing up at the rate of at least one a minute. What you’ve seen here this week is England United,” said 2018 bid Chief Executive Andy Anson

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“All the needs and objectives of our visit were met, and we are positive that a World Cup in England in 2018 or 2022 would be a great experience with a long lasting legacy for the country and its people, as well as for football worldwide,” said Harold Mayne-Nicholls, FIFA delegation-leader. “The quality of the pitches was absolutely world class, so was the line-up of celebrities we had the chance to meet.”

While Mayne-Nicholls was mightily impressed the standard of our infrastructure (and celebrities) there was a hint that FIFA expect more when it comes to hotel facilities. “Concerning public transportation and event facilities, there seems to be no problem in hosting an event of such scope,” he said.

“This also counts for safety and security matters. One thing Fifa are particularly focused on is accommodation as we need a very high number of quality rooms. This is why we ask all bidders for a certain number of contracted hotel rooms. We trust that you will be able to fulfil the necessary requirements.”

The FIFA delegation began their week in England with a visit to meet Deputy PM Nick Clegg in Downing Street before getting the tube to Wembley. This was followed by a trip to the north-east where they took in St James’ Park and the Stadium of Light before visiting Manchester on Wednesday for a guided tour of Old Trafford from the Sirs Alex Ferguson and Bobby Charlton.

In yet more good news for the bid it also turns out that Paul the Psychic Octopus, famous for his ability to avoid being turned into calamari, has also predicted that England will host the 2018 tournament. “I don’t think there’s any doubt that England’s stadiums and passion for the game are second to none,” was what Paul didn’t say. His old owners did however claim that he would be backing England, according to the BBC.

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