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Beckham hands over England 2018 World Cup bid

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Beckham delivers 2018 World Cup bid

Global football icon David Beckham has delivered the 1,752-page bid book which he hopes will persuade Fifa to award England the 2018 World Cup.

The hosts for 2018 and 2022 will be announced on 2 December, with Russia and Australia also among the bidders.

"We have a lot of passion; football is something which runs through our veins," said Beckham, who gave the book to Fifa chief Sepp Blatter in Zurich.

Blatter revealed he had received a call from new Prime Minister David Cameron.

Nine candidates, including a joint Dutch-Belgian team, are handing over their bids to Blatter on Friday.

The English delegation were introduced by Blatter as representing "the motherland of football".

Beckham was joined on stage by Fifa vice-president Geoff Thompson, England 2018 chief executive Andy Anson and Football Association chairman Lord Triesman, who confirmed to Blatter that England would also like to be considered for the 2022 event.

DAVID BOND'S BLOG

In a short speech, Beckham sought to convey the place of football at the heart of English culture.

"As you will see by our bid book we have a lot of passion for the game and bringing the biggest sporting event in the world to our country," said Beckham.

"As a player you always dream of playing in the World Cup in your own country so you will see the emotion this will bring to us and our fans.

"This is something that runs through our country and through our veins."

Blatter thanked the team for their "passion and support for football" which was "well-known around the world", before referring to his phone call from Cameron on Thursday.

"Not only did he express his determination to be behind this bid, but also his determination to be behind the World Cup 2010 in South Africa," said Blatter.

"I am very happy this delegation is bidding for 2018. It is really open."

A Downing Street spokesman said Cameron contacted Blatter to stress the new coalition government's support for the bid.

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Triesman praises Beckham's bid enthusiasm

"He reminded Mr Blatter that football was the national sport and people in England were extremely passionate about football," the spokesman said.

"He said that this country has great infrastructure and facilities and has a history of delivering great major sporting events like Euro 96; he said people in England were fully behind the bid."

England bid organisers believe that one of their trump cards is the ability to drive up the commercial revenues of the event.

Fifa is expected to net £2.1bn in TV and sponsorship from the 2010 World Cup, and England estimates it can increase that income by a third, taking it near the £3bn mark.

In 2005 Beckham played a part in helping London win the right to stage the 2012 Olympics and the FA is hoping he can have a similarly galvanising effect in persuading Fifa to allow England to stage the World Cup for the first time since 1966.

And the former England captain has published a two-page letter outlining the strengths of the 2018 bid.

The book covers details of the bid such as stadiums, transport, security, marketing and football and social development.

WORLD CUP BIDDERS
Australia
Belgium/Netherlands
England
Japan (2022 only)
Portugal/Spain
Qatar (2022 only)
Russia
South Korea (2022 only)
United States

Lord Triesman later told a news conference that a successful England bid could take the World Cup's commercial aspects "to the next level".

He said the cheapest ticket prices for 2018 would be based on the average cost of Premier League entry - about £40.

"We hope to make 20% available at that price and around a million at £60, but ultimately you have to agree a ticket policy with Fifa later in the process.

"We hope that is a good entry point."

Lord Triesman added he was "100%" confident that the new government "will back [the bid] to the hilt.

"The government investment would be a shade over £400m, the previous government signed the guarantees and the opposition agreed with that and signed up to the same arrangement."

The new Secretary of State for Culture, the Olympics, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt said: "We would put on a fantastic football festival and fans from around the world would be welcomed with open arms.

"We have the stadiums and infrastructure in place, the atmosphere would be electric and the tournament's legacy would benefit the lives of people all over the world."

A European bid is tipped to get the 2018 tournament with England up against Russia and joint bids from Spain/Portugal and Belgium/Netherlands.

The other bidders, although they are mainly focused on the 2022 tournament, are Australia, the United States, Japan, Qatar and South Korea.

Blatter had already spoken in glowing terms of England's bid which includes 12 towns and cities from Sunderland to Plymouth, calling it "the easiest bid in the world" - but also described the plans put forward by Russia as "remarkable."

The Dutch-Belgian delegation, including legends Johann Cruyff and Ruud Gullit, arrived at Fifa headquarters by bicycle to underline their bid's green credentials.

Johan Cruyff
Johan Cruyff delivered the Dutch bid by bicycle

Holland and Belgium jointly hosted the European Championships in 2000, while the combined efforts of Spain and Portugal have been relatively low key to date.

Japan withdrew its candidature to concentrate on the 2022 tournament after Blatter reportedly hinted that the 2018 finals would be most likely heading to Europe.

Each country's bid documents will set out detailed breakdowns of potential host cities and venues, infrastructure, and financial estimates for how much the tournament would cost and how much revenue it would generate.

After the challenge 2010 hosts South Africa has faced getting facilities ready for the continent's first World Cup, and with 2014 hosts Brazil having already been criticised for falling behind schedule, England will hope they catch the eye of Fifa by representing a safe pair of hands.

Lord Triesman added: "I have a confidence that we are in a very good position. We have listened to people as well as creating ideas to put to them.

"No one owes you the World Cup, [we] are not the only home of football, it is one of the great inventions that has gone around the world.

"You have to go around the world and hear what makes a great World Cup rather than telling people what would make a great World Cup."

In its early stages, England's efforts were dogged by in-fighting, with former board member Karren Brady admitting it was "fair comment" to say it looked like a shambles after Premier League chairman Dave Richardson resigned from the bid team.

BIDS TIMETABLE
14 May 2010 - Deadline for submissions
August 2010 - Country inspections begins
2 December 2010 - Winning bids announced by Fifa

But in November 2009 the campaign received a boost with Fifa vice-president Jack Warner, who had previously criticised the bid, saying it "is England's time", after what he called "an exceptionally good meeting" with then-prime minister Gordon Brown.

The US bid makes a point of stressing how many of the facilities are already in place and ready to use, while Russia's much-lauded proposals promise to open new markets for football in the former Soviet Union.

And Australia's bid has the backing of all the country's main sporting bodies, after the government managed to secure a memorandum of understanding from Australian Rules Football (AFL), rugby league and rugby union authorities over the use of the nation's best stadiums should the country win the right to hold the event.



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see also
Beckham offered England position
14 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Beckham's World Cup bid letter
13 May 10 |  Football
Beckham to present 2018 bid book
09 May 10 |  Football
Japan abandons 2018 World Cup bid
04 May 10 |  Football
Beckham pledges 2018 bid effort
03 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010
England vaunts 2018 World Cup bid
01 Dec 09 |  Business
Reaction to 2018 bid cities announcement
16 Dec 09 |  Internationals
Milton Keynes picked for 2018 bid
16 Dec 09 |  Internationals
Warner supports England 2018 bid
28 Nov 09 |  World Cup 2010
Infighting harms 2018 bid - Brady
25 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Richards resigns from 2018 board
24 Nov 09 |  Internationals
2018 bid gives handbags as gifts
23 Oct 09 |  Football
Fifa man hands back England gift
04 Nov 09 |  Football
England 'must improve 2018 bid'
07 Oct 09 |  Football
Rivals unite for World Cup bid
23 Jul 09 |  Merseyside
2018 bid chief calls for humility
18 May 09 |  Football
Qatar bids to host 2022 World Cup
17 Mar 09 |  Middle East


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