Nine candidates bidding to host the World Cup in 2018 or 2022 have begun delivering their proposals to Fifa. David Beckham presented England’s bid to Sepp Blatter, telling the Fifa president of the “passion and emotion” the nation would bring to the tournament and declaring “football runs through our veins”.
The former England captain arrived in Zurich to hand over the bid book on behalf of the 2018 World Cup team, with the UK Football Association keen to use him as much as possible in South Africa to promote the bid.
Blatter described England as “the motherland of football,” and said new British Prime Minister David Cameron called him on Thursday offering government support for the bid.
Australia made the first presentation to Blatter, handing over a 750-page bid book detailing how it would stage the world’s biggest sporting event.
The bidders include four from Europe, four from the Asian confederation plus the United States.
Football Federation Australia chairman Frank Lowy said he recognised it was a tough challenge, adding: “We hope and pray that we might be the lucky country.”
A Europe bid is favourite to be given the 2018 finals, with England and Russia competing against joint bids from Netherlands-Belgium and Spain-Portugal. All four are also in the 2022 race but would be barred if one gets the 2018 tournament.
Each bid book explains how the 64-match tournament would be organized, with details of at least 12 stadiums, plus training camps, hotels, security protocols, IT and medical support, and fans’ entertainment. Candidates must also submit to Fifa copies of government guarantees, contracts with each city and venue, and details of finance and insurance cover.
Fifa officials will use the bid books as the basis for technical inspections of each candidate between July and September and 24 executive members will choose the two hosts on December 2 in Zurich.