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Reaction to England World Cup 2018 bid cities decision

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Milton Keynes can deliver - Winkelman

On Wednesday, Milton Keynes and 11 cities were named as part of England's official 2018 World Cup bid.

The full proposal to Fifa will include 17 stadia, with the final decision made on which will host matches made in December 2010 should England's bid be successful.

Here, BBC Sport considers the reaction of those involved in the bid cities.

LEEDS

Leeds City Council leader Andrew Carter: "This is fantastic news. Leeds would make an ideal World Cup host city and we are now a step closer to making it a reality.

"Our proud football heritage, passion for sport and vision to leave a lasting legacy after the tournament makes us a perfect venue to be a host city for the world's biggest sporting event. Hosting matches would put Leeds firmly on the world map and give a multi-million pound boost to the local economy."

LIVERPOOL

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard: "Liverpool is such a historic footballing city I'm not surprised we've been chosen. I'm 100% behind England's bid and I'd love to see World Cup games played here."

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez: "It's great news. This city lives and breathes football and if England are successful it will be a fantastic stage for World Cup games."

Everton captain Phil Neville: "This is great news for a great footballing city. But I always expected Liverpool to be selected. Any football tournament in this country without this city involved would be unthinkable. Let's hope that England now wins the bid."

MANCHESTER

Manchester United chief executive David Gill: "It is great news that Old Trafford is part of England's bid. It is the most historic of all the venues, celebrating its centenary in February 2010, and has hosted some major games in recent years; from the Uefa Champions League final in 2003 to England World Cup qualifiers, to Uefa Champions League semi-final ties.

"I am confident that its' inclusion makes England's exceptional bid even stronger."

Manchester City chief executive Garry Cook: "This is fantastic news for the city. Manchester has two truly world-class stadiums, which would be fitting stages for the 2018 World Cup.

"Everyone at Manchester City - players, staff and supporters, will be incredibly excited at the prospect of hosting games at City of Manchester Stadium, and we will be keeping our fingers crossed that the English bid is successful."

MILTON KEYNES

MK Dons chairman Pete Winkelman: "It's really exciting to be part of this process going forward. We're still very much a work in progress but I really think that the World Cup can re-enforce that agenda that we have got for growth and I think it will be really great for Milton Keynes.

"We have work to do on the stadium, yes, but the certainty and deliverability we have got - look how far we have come in the last few years - really gives people confidence that we can deliver.

"Milton Keynes has made a huge investment in football and is a great testament to how important football is in communities across England."

PLYMOUTH

World cup decision boosts Plymouth

Plymouth bid chairman Doug Fletcher: "This is really fantastic news for the people of Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall.

"Ours was a people's bid and it was the people of Devon and Cornwall that won it for Plymouth."

Argyle executive director and member of the Plymouth bid team Keith Todd: "We will be building a world-class stadium."

SUNDERLAND

Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn: "Some questioned why we even went for the bid in the first place, because we'd always missed out in the past.

"Various things have happened in this city, in this region: the shipbuilding stopped, the coal mines closed and it's been a struggle ever since to regenerate and reinvent itself, but this is a huge help.

"This is massive for the city... it can feel really good about itself tonight and we can build from this day forward. What we understand is that the hard work really starts now - we feel as though the starting gun went off today."

BRISTOL

Bristol City manager Gary Johnson said: "It's a magnificent achievement and credit to everyone involved.

"I've witnessed World Cups first hand having been involved in Japan and France.

"I know what a festival of football it is and how it lights up the whole area.

"And whatever teams you get here, it doesn't matter. Everybody starts following and you make friends for the rest of your life."



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see also
Milton Keynes picked for 2018 bid
16 Dec 09 |  Internationals
Cities make case for 2018 Cup bid
26 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Everton's stadium plan rejected
26 Nov 09 |  Everton
Beckham pledges 2018 bid effort
03 Dec 09 |  Internationals
England vaunts 2018 World Cup bid
01 Dec 09 |  Business
Richards resigns from 2018 board
24 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Rivals unite for World Cup bid
23 Jul 09 |  Merseyside


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