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England name 2018 World Cup bid stadiums

Article Published: Thursday 17 December 2009

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London's 2012 Olympic Stadium and Liverpool's Anfield were included Wednesday in England's bid for the World Cup in 2018 or '22, and the campaign revealed that they already had some major sponsors lined up.

England's selection panel has given FIFA the option of selecting either the Olympic Stadium or Tottenham's proposed new ground as one of the three London venues.

The Olympic venue is due to be downsized to 25,000 from its 80,000 capacity after the games due to fears that London cannot sustain another large stadium.

"It will be so iconic we did not believe we should take it out of the equation at this point - FIFA will have much more information in 2013 than we have today," said England 2018 board member Brian Mawhinney.

"There is a debate going on about its future, but we aren't in charge of that debate." Tottenham hopes to have its new stadium - next to the existing White Hart Lane - open by 2013. The Wembley national stadium and Arsenal's Emirates Stadium were also selected in the capital.

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke has said Wembley is the only stadium among the European bidders capable of hosting World Cup matches. Others would require space for temporary facilities, including corporate hospitality.

After FIFA's 24-man executive committee votes on the World Cup hosts for 2018 and '22 in December 2010, world football's governing body gets the final say on the venues, which they will inspect in England in August.

Among the 15 proposed venues for matches, England gives FIFA the option of deciding to use either the crumbling Anfield or its replacement should the owners be able to fund the much delayed project.

"We are very optimistic it will be the new Anfield, not the old - they have a clear process in terms of getting the investment into the club," bid chief executive Andy Anson said.

"It has to be the easiest project to finance because it increases Liverpool's profitability."

While Derby, Leicester and Hull missed out on selection as candidate host cities, the other victors were: - Newcastle's St. James' Park and Sunderland's Stadium of Light in the northeast.

- Manchester United's Old Trafford and the City of Manchester stadium.

- Elland Road and Hillsborough in Yorkshire.

- Bristol City's proposed New Ashton Vale and Plymouth's redeveloped Home Park.

- Aston Villa's Villa Park, Nottingham Forest's planned new venue in central England and the MK Dons stadium.

MK Dons, previously Wimbledon, controversy relocated in 2003 to Milton Keynes, which is north of London. Attendances have steadily risen since moving into a new stadium in 2007 and the capacity will be doubled to 44,000.

"The city wasn't even on the map when we hosted the World Cup in 1966 so this will be a huge part of the history of Milton Keynes," MK Dons chairman Pete Winkelman said.

England remains confident of raising the 15.5 million pounds ($25.6 million) required for the bid, with the candidate host cities contributing three million pounds to the marketing budget.

"There are two or three commercial deals that are in very good shape right now," Anson said.

"I'm more confident than ever that we will have at least the 15.5 million pounds and hopefully more. I would also like to take up the loans from the government."

Netherlands-Belgium, Spain-Portugal, Russia, the United States, Australia and Japan also are bidding to host either the 2018 or 2022 World Cups. Indonesia, Qatar and South Korea are bidding for 2022 only.


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