England launch World Cup bid
18 May 2009 - 13:52:43
Football Association chairman Lord Triesman believes the nation has the infrastructure and passion required to host a World Cup after England officially launched its bid to host the 2018 or 2022 tournament.
Speaking at a glittering launch party at Wembley on Monday attended by an array of famous footballing faces, Triesman spoke of the 'festival of football' that a World Cup in England would provide.
Prime minister Gordon Brown lent his support to the "exciting opportunity" while David Beckham will front the bid.
"We in England would be truly honoured to host the World Cup and welcome the world," said Triesman.
"We have first-class grounds. We've got good transport links, domestically and internationally. We've got excellent accommodation.
"England would be truly honoured to host the tournament."
FIFA will decide who hosts the 2018 and 2022 tournaments in December 2010.
England's main rivals in Europe are expected to be Spain and Russia, while further afield the USA and Australia have both confirmed that they will also table bids.
However, Triesman is confident that England fulfils all the necessary criteria to stage a successful tournament.
"A World Cup in England would be a truly memorable event - not only for our nation but for every nation," he added.
"We'd extend a wonderful welcome to players and fans from across the world.
"Inside and outside our grounds, we'd share with them our love of the game and our sense of fair play.
"And they would enjoy our diverse culture - one that means England would provide a home-from-home welcome for every fan and player.
"We believe that England can stage a fantastic festival of football, one that will engage the whole country and deliver positive change for football in England and across the world.
"Now we must persuade our international friends and colleagues of our case. That's easy to say, far less easy to do.
"Our starting point is England's passion for football. It is our national sport, we have a strong football heritage which runs through every town and city.
"Every week hundreds of thousand of fans watch games and millions of people across the world and millions in this country - men women and children - play from pub sides to school teams to the FA Premier League and all of them - hundreds of million of worldwide know the FIFA World Cup is the global pinnacle of the game."
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