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Fifa president Sepp Blatter meets PM David Cameron


Blatter 'very impressed' by England 2018 bid

Fifa president Sepp Blatter met Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday as England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup reaches its final phase.

Blatter watched a bid presentation and met football figures, including England coach Fabio Capello and several players, on his Downing Street visit.

The Swiss said: "Your bid has impressed me personally. England can organise the World Cup - that's not a problem."

Fifa will decide on the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts on 2 December.

England's rivals for the 2018 event include Russia, the United States, joint bids from Portugal and Spain, and Belgium and the Netherlands.

Blatter also paid tribute to the progress England had made in building modern all-seater stadia and eradicating hooliganism from the domestic game.

The influential global football supremo urged other national associations to replicate the all-seater stadiums and lack of fences, saying the crowd problems which forced the abandonment of Tuesday's Italy v Serbia international in Genoa were unlikely to have happened in England.

You have built all your stadia, there are no fences and everyone is sitting. This is a big legacy, an important legacy you have given to the world

Sepp Blatter

"England is the motherland of football," he said. "England has given so much to football, and England is going on to carry on giving much to football.

"Your predecessors were in a very difficult situation during the years from 1985 to 1989 and so on. I don't want to speak about what happened then, but the reaction you have made.

"You have given to the world security in the stadiums. You have built all your stadia, there are no fences and everyone is sitting.

"This is a big legacy, an important legacy you have given to the world.

"If only all the national associations in the world, and their leagues had stadiums like this, we would have more fair play in our game.

"[Now] I will report to the executive committee when they meet at the end of October before the 2 December decision."

England 2018 chief executive Andy Anson, meanwhile, said the visit had been "excellent" for the bid.

"One thing the president mentioned today was our long-established credibility in dealing with hooliganism and that's fantastic to hear," he added.

Bid chairman Geoff Thompson, speaking before Blatter's visit, had said it was a "chance to provide evidence of England's passion for the game" and that the team would highlight the potential legacy a successful England bid could create.


"The Prime Minister spoke with president Blatter shortly after taking office to reiterate the British government's support for the bid and to invite him to Downing Street," stated Thompson.

"We are delighted the Fifa president has accepted and we are honoured that he and Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke will be visiting England so close to the decision in December."

As well as Capello, Tottenham defender Michael Dawson and Manchester City winger Adam Johnson were also in attendance, as well as Premier League chief executive Peter Scudamore.

In August, a six-man Fifa team spent fours days in England during which they had a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

That visit also included tours of some of the stadiums that form part of England's bid - Old Trafford, City of Manchester Stadium, St James' Park and the Stadium of Light and gave the Fifa delegation a chance to inspect transport, stadiums and security.

Blatter is also set to meet London Mayor Boris Johnson during his trip.

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see also
Chung will not challenge Blatter
12 Oct 10 |  Football
Fifa praises England 2018 Cup bid
26 Aug 10 |  Football
Man United greats back 2018 bid
25 Aug 10 |  Football
England set to end 2022 Cup bid
28 Sep 10 |  Football
England 2018 Cup bid 'unbeatable'
23 Aug 10 |  Football
Beckham steps up 2018 bid effort
21 Sep 10 |  Football
World Cup bids head-to-head
17 Oct 10 |  Football

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Daily Chilli England praised for control of hooligans - 3 hrs ago
Sporting Life BLATTER BOOSTS ENGLAND BID - 5 hrs ago England bid impresses Sepp - 6 hrs ago
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BigPond Sport Blatter 'impressed' by England 2018 bid - 11 hrs ago