After a total of 72 hours in England, the sixth of a total of nine trips to all the Bidding Countries for the FIFA World Cups 2018 and 2022, the Inspection Visit came to an end with a media briefing at Manchester Central Conference Centre.
“All needs and objectives of our visit were met. We have seen a full commitment of the government as well as from all candidate host cities”, said Harold Mayne-Nicholls, Head of the six-person FIFA group.
The four-day program led the delegation to a total of four cities: London, Manchester, Newcastle and Sunderland and included visits to Old Trafford, St. James’ Park, Stadium of Light, City of Manchester and Wembley as well as various training sites, the potential venues for the Preliminary and Final Draw, the IBC, the hotels and transport infrastructure.
Amongst the hosts were Fabio Capello, Sir Alex Ferguson, Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, Michael Owen, Roberto Mancini, Peter Beardsley, Niall Quinn, Steve Gibson and Howard Webb – to mention just a few. On Monday the delegation was invited to 10 Downing Street, where they were welcomed by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
“We hope, we have demonstrated the enormous potential of the England bid. We wanted to deliver the best of England and to convince FIFA, that we would be an exceptional partner”, emphasised Andy Anson, Chief Executive of the England 2018 bid team.
So far the Inspection team has visited Japan, Korea, Australia, Belgium/Netherlands, Russia and England. Next week they will travel to Spain/Portugal (30 August – 2 September), USA and Qatar still to come.