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Page last updated at 13:59 GMT, Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Portsmouth pulls out of 2018 bid

2018 bidding cities
Newcastle: Joint Newcastle-Gateshead bid
Porstmouth withdrew bid 25 Nov

Portsmouth will not bid to be a potential host city if England wins the right to stage the 2018 World Cup.

The move to pull out of the race comes after Portsmouth City Council refused to provide financial guarantees, fearing the bid was too much of a risk.

Premier League club Pompey announced plans to extend the capacity of their Fratton Park home to 30,000 in March.

Thursday is the deadline for host city applications, with stadiums included in the final bid announced in December.

In June 2008, Pompey unveiled plans to leave Fratton Park for a new 36,000-capacity stadium overlooking Portsmouth harbour.

But those plans were shelved earlier this year in favour of redeveloping the club's current home, "with a view to completion in line with the Football Association's World Cup bid for 2018/2022".

However, the city's challenge to be part of England's bid to stage the 2018 tournament ended at a council meeting on Tuesday.

An England 2018 spokesman said: "Naturally, we are disappointed at Portsmouth's withdrawal from the process.

Leading fish in Hants

"Along with the other cities involved, Portsmouth had shown great enthusiasm for the project and the council's decision not to approve their application at this stage is a surprising and sad outcome.

"The host city process still has an extremely strong candidate list and we are confident we have an array of cities, stadiums and general facilities that will support an exceptional bid to FIFA."

The 15 cities expected to submit applications to become a host venue are Birmingham, Bristol, Derby, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Newcastle-Gateshead, Nottingham, Plymouth, Sheffield and Sunderland.

Between 12 and 18 stadiums from about 10 cities will then be chosen to form part of England's bid, with that announcement scheduled for 16 December.

Of the 15 potential hosts, four - Liverpool, London, Manchester and Sheffield - will submit proposals that contain more than one stadium.

However, contrary to other reports, England's bid can contain more than one city with two stadiums or more.

The Manchester bid will include Eastlands and Old Trafford, while Sheffield's proposal is centred around improvements to Hillsborough and Bramall Lane.


The bid from Liverpool will contain two new stadiums, built to be the homes of Liverpool and Everton respectively.

London's effort will be the largest bid, with four stadiums included.

These are Wembley, Arsenal's Emirates Stadium, Tottenham Hotspur's proposed new home and the 2012 Olympic stadium.

Depending on the number of stadiums chosen by the England 2018 bid team, as many as one third of the proposed venues for the tournament could be in the capital.

The campaigns of Bristol and Nottingham centre around stadiums that have yet to be built, while the bid of Plymouth includes the redevelopment of Plymouth Argyle's Home Park ground.

England's final bid for the tournament will be presented to Fifa in May 2010.

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see also
Richards resigns from 2018 board
24 Nov 09 |  Internationals
England 2018 bid team streamlined
12 Nov 09 |  Football
Pompey postpone new stadium plan
19 Mar 09 |  Portsmouth
Portsmouth outline stadium plan
18 Jun 08 |  Portsmouth
Pompey switch site of new stadium
26 Oct 07 |  Portsmouth
Go-ahead for Portsmouth stadium
28 Jul 04 |  Hampshire/Dorset

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