Quinn holds World Cup hope
Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn is determined to convince the Football Association that the Stadium of Light should be a venue for the 2018 World Cup. A total of 15 cites are vying to secure host status for the 2018 World Cup should the FA be successful in its bid to bring the tournament to England. Newcastle-Gateshead will provide local competition for Sunderland, but Quinn wants the club to build on the recent staging of major concerts by hosting World Cup matches. "You have got to have belief and you have got to have plans and you have got to have achievable targets," said Quinn. "At the start, people might have said we were dreaming, trying to get into the Premier League, but we are about to embark on our third year now. "It's been scary and it's been tight at times, but it's real progress. "Sometimes success and failure are defined by the slightest of margins, and we have learnt that in this past six weeks. "But you don't stop and say, 'God, that was great', you kick on, you take advantage of it. "The concerts were fantastic and we look like we are going to be a venue here for as long as we are sensible. "But that's not enough. We want bigger events and for the greatest show on earth to come here would be colossal, and why not aim for it? "Why should we feel inferior? We have done that for far too long at this club." Quinn also believes that securing World Cup fixtures in the North East would be a massive boost to the region as a whole and not just Sunderland. He said: "For too long, people have talked about the mines and the shipbuilding - Sunderland has kicked on now and this is a great way of showing it to the outside world. "There are so many good things in Sunderland, but they have been bottled up within the region for a long time now, and this for me is the showcase opportunity to make the city a modern city. "There are 15 cities all trying to convince the FA that they are the ones that should be in there. They will all have a great infrastructure - the stadiums will be great, the training grounds will be great, although they will maybe not match up to ours. "But I believe there is something extra to this region. The Sunderland people and the people of the region - I shouldn't just stick to Sunderland, I should talk about Tyneside, I should talk about Durham, talk about Teesside, Tees Valley, Northumberland, all these places - when that passion and that football passion starts to show itself, that will be a big feather in the FA's cap."
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