Page last updated at 12:54 GMT, Monday, 22 February 2010

England 2018 World Cup bid backed by Morrisons

Morrisons trolleys
Morrisons will be gathering bid support from its shoppers

The supermarket group Morrisons has signed up as a supporter of England's bid to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cup.

The Bradford-based chain is the third major partner of the bid, after BT and accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers announced their backing.

England is one of eight bids to hold the 2018 tournament and one of 10 bids to stage the 2022 tournament.

The decision for both tournaments will be made by world governing body Fifa in Zurich in December 2010.

"We're sure that our customers would be delighted if the World Cup came to England in 2018, and by becoming a commercial partner we can help them to play their part in supporting the bid," said Mark Gunter, group retail director at Morrisons.

'Further support'

The sum of money that Morrisons is paying to be associated with the bid has not been revealed.

The supermarket will be urging football fans to show their support for the 2018 World Cup bid by signing up in-store from 8 March.

It is hoped this domestic backing will send a sign to Fifa that there is public support for hosting the tournament in England.

Andy Anson, chief executive of the 2018 bid, said the deal would help gather "further support from millions of people right across the country".

Morrisons has a strong presence in the 12 candidate host cities - Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Nottingham, Plymouth, Sheffield and Sunderland.

It was recently announced that former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein has been appointed international president of England's World Cup bid.

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