Low Countries welcome FIFA inspectors
© AFP

The FIFA Inspection Group has completed a trip to prospective co-hosts Belgium and the Netherlands in the fourth of nine visits to countries bidding for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups™. The inspection concluded last night with an assessment of the Amsterdam ArenA and a final press briefing.
 
During the four-day visit, the FIFA delegation has visited stadiums in Brussels, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Eindhoven as well as inspecting various potential training sites, exhibition and conference centres and hotels. Meetings were also held with Yves Leterme and Jan Peter Balkenende, the respective prime ministers of Belgium the Netherlands, as well as various ambassadors for the bid such as tennis star Justine Henin, former Olympic swimming gold medallist Pieter van den Hoogenband and national football heroes Paul van Himst, Jean-Marie Pfaff, Giovanni Bronckhorst and Aaron Winter.
 
Harold Mayne-Nicholls, Head of the FIFA Inspection Group, said of the visit: “We had a very informative stay and both Prime Ministers made very clear to us, that they fully back the bid.” Ruud Gullit, who is acting as president of this joint bid, emphasised the desire of Belgium and the Netherlands to host football’s greatest showpiece. “The Low Countries would truly love to host the World Cup. We want to bring our slogan - ‘Together for Great Goals - which stands for success on and off the pitch, to life."