England boosted by bid report
England's bid for the 2018 World Cup will be given a boost when it is judged as "low risk" in FIFA's evaluation reports of the bidding countries.
The reports are to be published on Wednesday and England will be on a par with current favourites Spain/Portugal, although FIFA's inspectors have raised issues with all of the four bids for 2018.
The concerns about England surround training camps, the number of contracted hotel rooms and training camp hotels. Spain/Portugal are also a "low legal risk" but are told they need a proper safety and security strategy.
The concerns about Russia's bid, also a "low legal risk", are regarding their transport plan, particularly in relation to air traffic, and is a much more costly and difficult issue in such a vast country.
Holland/Belgium are judged a "medium legal risk" as the necessary government guarantees have not been provided.
Although the FIFA inspectors' report are broadly positive about all the bids, England look to have received marginally better marks than their main rivals - some much-needed good news after a month of media-related setbacks.
On England, the report states: "The bidder has not contracted the required number of venue-specific training sites or venue-specific team hotels," says the report.
"The fact that not many of the rooms have been contracted in full compliance with FIFA's template hotel agreement requires further analysis and potentially renegotiation. FIFA could be exposed to excessive pricing."
On Russia, the report says: "The country's vastness and its remoteness from other countries, coupled with the fact that the high speed rail network is limited... would put pressure on the air traffic infrastructure potentially causing transfer challenges.
"Any delay in the completion of transport projects could impact on FIFA's tournament operations and the proposed installation of temporary facilities could impose a high cost burden."
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