2018 World Cup: England's cities do battle for the right to stage matches

26 November 2009 01:23
The battle plans have been drawn and the star names have been lined up, now the time has come for the 15 cities hoping to host World Cup games in 2018 to make their pitch.

Wembley is the venue where Milton Keynes will go head to head with Manchester to demonstrate why they should be part of the greatest football show on earth.

Flying the flag: Wembley will host the battle of the stadiums

Wallace and Gromit are crossing their Plasticine fingers that Bristol has a grand day out while Amanda Holden will hope that London has enough talent to host more than its fair share of matches.

Olympic rowing hero Sir Steve Redgrave has been putting his back into Leicester's campaign while Gary Lineker is confident the Walkers Stadium can walk it.

These are just a few of the star names who have lent their support to their preferred city's campaigns, while among the festivities going on at football's most iconic stadium will be diver Tom Daley's arrival in a hot air balloon on behalf of Plymouth's bid.

Newcastle will have an Angel of the North figure watching over their bid as a delegation including Alan Shearer, David Ginola and Jack Charlton descends on Wembley.

Once the razzmatazz has been concluded, the process of choosing which cities are the ones to wow FIFA into plumping for England will begin. The big decision will be announced by the 2018 bid board on December 16 and 10 cities are expected to make the cut.

Making a splash: Diver Tom Daley has lent his support to Plymouth's bid

Only those bids who have satisfied a total of 23 individual selection categories and 95 individual criteria including contractual commitment, fan parks, and security can hope to be successful.

High on the 2018 board's checklist will be those cities that can best convince FIFA to forget the turmoil that has dogged England's bid so far and instead focus on the fact that the time has come to bring football home.

Advisory committee member, former Birmingham City managing director Karren Brady, admitted yesterday that the 'bickering, infighting and disruption' which has characterised England's campaign thus far has to stop.

Lord Triesman and company will hope that today's events at Wembley can show the world that what really matters is England's ability to do football better than anyone else.

 Explore more:People:Karren Brady, Steve Redgrave, Jack Charlton, Amanda Holden, Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer, David Ginola, Tom DaleyPlaces:Newcastle, Bristol, London, Manchester, United Kingdom

Source: Daily_Mail