18 November 2005

Government launches work on England 2018 World Cup bid

The Government has launched a study into the feasibility of holding the FIFA World Cup in England in 2018, as the first stage in a potential bid by the Football Association to host the tournament. 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Tessa Jowell, launched the study as they visited the Football at Mile End Project, where more than 100 children from local schools were receiving coaching in facilities partly-funded by the Football Foundation. They were joined by Martin Peters, from the 1966 England World Cup winning team, representatives from the Football Foundation, and officials from the Soccer Foundation of South Africa, which will host the World Cup in 2010.

Gordon Brown said:

“We have shown with the 2012 Olympics bid that, with the right long-term preparation and the full backing of government and the nation, we can bring the biggest international sporting events to Britain.

“By 2018, it will be more than 50 years since England hosted the World Cup, and millions of fans will agree it is time to host it again, in the best stadiums and in front of the most passionate supporters in Europe.

“We are now starting work to understand what produces the best possible bid,  how Government can support and assist the process, and how to ensure a bid will bring maximum benefits for every region.

“It is great to see the love of the game amongst young children here in the East End, and we want to do more to provide quality coaching and facilities for our 5-11 year olds right across the country.

“The young British children learning to play the game today can become the young stars of our national teams in 2018, and we must do everything we can to help them turn their talent and potential into World Cup success.”

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Tessa Jowell said:

"Winning the 2012 Olympics showed that with the right long-term preparation and the full backing of government, we can bring the biggest international sporting events to Britain.

"We already have the fantastic stadiums, the unparalleled support and the footballing heritage to guarantee a tremendous sporting spectacle in 2018.

"But if we are to win the right to stage the World Cup we will need to demonstrate the same rigour as we did with the Olympics. We will have to meet the four key tests of affordability, deliverability, legacy and winnability. That's why this study is so important. "
Welcoming the study, FA Chief Executive Brian Barwick said:

“Any successful World Cup bid needs government support, as we saw with the 2012 Olympic success. If the 2018 World Cup comes to Europe we will be giving very serious consideration to making a bid.  A World Cup in England would be a fantastic event, and we welcome the government’s study to look into the feasibility of hosting the tournament in this country.”

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1. The feasibility study will be conducted by the Treasury and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and will report next year to the Chancellor and the Secretary of State for DCMS, Tessa Jowell.

2. The objective of the study will be to establish the components and requirements of a successful bid, and assess both the capacity of England and the FA to meet them in full, and the level of support for a bid both among the football community and the public as a whole.

3. As part of this, the study will examine the criteria that make a bid successful, and what the role of Government is in securing success, as well as assessing the capacity of our stadiums and infrastructure now and in the future, particularly post-Olympics.

4. The Government will consult with local communities, regional representatives and the footballing community as a whole, in particular to see how best the benefits of the World Cup could be shared between every region of the country.

5. The World Cup, which will be hosted by Germany next year, will be held in South Africa in 2010, and is expected to return to South America in 2014 for the first time in 36 years. European countries are next expected to bid for the tournament in 2018.  The English FA will not make any firm decision on any such bid until the autumn of 2006 at the earliest.

6. Since England hosted the World Cup for the only time in 1966, every other major European footballing nation has hosted the tournament: Germany in 1974 (and next year); Spain in 1982; Italy in 1990 (as well as in 1934); and France in 1998 (as well as in 1938).

7. The Football At Mile End (FAME) Project was launched in April 2005 with the support of West Ham United Football Club and Tower Hamlets Council, and is aimed specifically at encouraging young people from the Asian community to get involved in the game. The Football Foundation gave £800,000 towards the cost of a £2.5 million project to build new changing facilities and 7 synthetic turf pitches at Mile End Stadium, where children can receive specialist training. The children participating in today’s coaching sessions came from four local primary schools: Halley School, Ben Jonson School, Clara Grant School, and Marner School.

8. The South African Football Foundation (SAFF) was launched yesterday at the House of Commons, and is based on the model of the UK’s Football Foundation, launched in 2000, with a mission to improve grass roots facilities, create opportunities for people to participate in football, and build community relations. It will be funded by a combination of government, football and private investment, and will be chaired by former ANC activist and political prisoner, Tokyo Sexwale. This is part of an accelerated process to develop the grass roots of the South African game in advance of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Notes for editors

1. Due to FIFA regulations governing the use of the World Cup trophy in connection with countries bidding to host the tournament, we would respectfully request that pooled photographs of the Chancellor’s meeting with Sir Geoff Hurst and Sir Trevor Brooking on Monday afternoon are not used in connection with this press notice, where the World Cup trophy is visible.

2. All media enquiries should be addressed to the Treasury press office on 020 7270 5238 or DCMS press office on 020 7211 6931. Non-media enquiries should be addressed to the Treasury Correspondence and Enquiry Unit on 020 7270 4558 or by e-mail to public.enquiries@hm-treasury.gov.uk.

3. This press release and other Treasury publications and information are available on the Treasury website at www.hm-treasury.gov.uk.  If you would like Treasury press releases to be sent to you automatically by e-mail you can subscribe to this service from the press release site on the website.

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