Page last updated at 08:32 GMT, Friday, 21 August 2009 09:32 UK

Plymouth bids for World Cup games

Argyle fans in celebratory mood
Plymouth is one of at least 16 cities bidding to host World Cup matches

Plymouth Argyle football club is to bid to bring World Cup football matches to Devon.

The club is leading a consortium bid to become a host city for the 2018 World Cup, should England should be chosen to host the tournament.

The Football Association (FA) is in charge of selecting host cities. At least 15 others are making bids.

Argyle's bid is anticipated to include proposals for a new 40,000-plus seat stadium and modern training facilities.

Historically, Devon and Cornwall have been overlooked when major tournaments have come to the UK.
Douglas Fletcher
PWCBL chairman

These would be built near Plymouth for teams competing in 2018, including sites in South Devon and Cornwall.

The Pilgrims [Argyle's nickname] are also expected to submit proposals which would see investments in transport, hotel and leisure facilities.

Argyle will head a consortium of regional supporters, including Plymouth City Council, Devon County Council, Cornwall Council, the University of Plymouth and the Plymouth City Development Company.

The bid will be managed by a company called Plymouth World Cup Bid Ltd (PWCBL).

Economic impact

Proposals have to be submitted to the FA by November and successful host cities will be announced early next year.

Douglas Fletcher, PWCBL chairman, said: "Historically, Devon and Cornwall have been overlooked when major tournaments have come to the UK.

"Being a host city in 2018 would be an enormous honour for the people of Plymouth and a hugely positive experience for football fans throughout the South West."

Becoming a host city is also expected to have a positive knock-on effect for the local economy.

Councillor Vivien Pengelly, Leader of Plymouth City Council, said: "A successful bid would have a catalytic impact on the economy and fabric of both Plymouth and the wider region."

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