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England 2018 World Cup bid viewed as 'low risk'

Fifa headquarters
Fifa will decide on the location of the 2018 World Cup on 2 December

By David Bond
BBC sports editor

England's 2018 World Cup bid is viewed as low risk by Fifa, although the world governing body has flagged up concerns over training camp and hotel provision.

Published on Wednesday, the executive summary is only part of the full report that Fifa will base its final decision on.

England's main rivals - the joint Spanish and Portuguese bid and Russia - are also given a "low risk" rating.

The votes to decide the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 events is on 2 December.

Across 17 risk categories, Russia lies just behind England and Spain/Portugal, while the joint bid from Netherlands and Belgium has received a medium risk assessment.

The bidder has not contracted the required number of venue-specific training sites or venue-specific team hotels

Fifa on England's bid

Although there is not thought to be any overall ranking, it is understood England and Spain/Portugal have the most low risk gradings while Russia's bid has more rated as medium risk.

The full Fifa report will not to be made public but the executive summary highlighted some criticisms of England's bid.

"The bidder has not contracted the required number of venue-specific training sites or venue-specific team hotels," says the report.

WORLD CUP BID REPORTS
ENGLAND BID
Good points: Transport, stadia, IT, security, marketing, legacy
Bad points: Too few venue-specific training sites or venue-specific team hotels, too few training base camp hotels
SPAIN/PORTUGAL BID
Good points: Stadia, transport, hotels, legacy
Bad points: Lack of clear security plan, co-hosting "a challenge"
RUSSIA BID
Good points: 13 planned new stadia, hotels, legacy
Bad points: Huge transport challenge and major building programme needed
NETHERLANDS/BELGIUM BID
Good points: Stadia, legacy
Bad points: Too few hotel rooms, co-hosting "a challenge", lack of government guarantees

"Additional training sites, likely to be selected from England's existing range of professional club stadiums and training sites, may have to be considered.

"In terms of accommodation, the bidder proposes a relatively large inventory. However, the fact that not many of the rooms have been contracted in full compliance with Fifa's template hotel agreement requires further analysis and potentially renegotiation. Fifa could be exposed to excessive pricing."

However, an England 2018 spokesman played down the significance of Fifa's comments, saying: "These are minor contractual issues which are already being dealt with by Fifa."

England's bid is given a glowing report on transport, IT infrastructure and technology, event safety, marketing, media and communication, while its £455m budget has been "submitted in the format required".

Russia's bid is also given a low legal risk grading, although, perhaps surprisingly, no questions have been raised over its plans to build 13 new stadiums for the tournament. The report also says the necessary government support has been secured.

There is criticism of Russia's transport and technology infrastructure.

"The country's vastness and its remoteness from other countries, coupled with the fact that the high speed rail network is limited... would put pressure on the air traffic infrastructure," states the report.

DAVID BOND'S BLOG

"Any delay in the completion of transport projects could impact on Fifa's tournament operations and the proposed installation of temporary facilities could impose a high cost burden."

The Fifa summary on Spain/Portugal raises concerns over the decision to enter a joint bid.

"It should be noted that a co-hosting concept could pose challenges regarding the joint operational delivery of the Fifa World Cup in terms of ensuring consistent standards," the report reads.

"Therefore, in order to provide a more complete basis for evaluation of the co-hosting concept, further key operational details would be required."

The Iberian bid is also criticised for its venue-specific team hotels and training sites.

Fifa added that "city transport infrastructure requires attention" in some cases, while, as regards technology, "insufficient details are provided in the bid book to allow proper evaluation".

The only bidder for 2018 rated with a higher risk evaluation is the joint bid from Netherlands and Belgium.

Ruud Gullit is a key figure of the Netherlands and Belgium bid
The Netherlands and Belgium bid - backed by Dutch star Ruud Gullit - is pushing its green credentials

The Low Countries bid faces criticism over hotel rooms, the joint hosting concept, training sites and team hotels, with government guarantees a major concern.

Fifa has also made a similar report covering the five potential hosts of the 2022 tournament - the United States, Qatar, Australia, Japan and South Korea.

The bids from Australia, Japan and South Korea are criticised for a potential drop in US and European revenue, concerns are raised over the heat in Qatar in June and July and a lack of government guarantees is cited as a potential problem with the US bid.

All five bids are praised for their stadia, Japan and South Korea for their use of technology, the US and Australia for transport and security provision while Qatar is lauded for its "novel approach".



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England 2018 team write to Fifa
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Fifa widens Cup bidding inquiry
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England withdraw bid for 2022 Cup
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Blatter holds 2018 Cameron talks
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Fifa warning on World Cup votes
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