Date: 8th September 2009 at 12:26pm
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A brief look at what Leicester has to offer, or not, England as its bid to be a host city for the 2018 world cup.

From Vital England:

ENGLAND UNITED – THE WORLD INVITED

Following the excitement and media saturation of the July launch of England’s bid to host the World Cup Finals in 2018 or 2022, it seems to have gone rather quiet. This, I am assured, is because the FA assessors are wandering the country, checking the credentials of the cities vying to be hosts to the games.

Plymouth has now been added to the original 15 cities so that the list now reads:

Birmingham, Bristol, Derby, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Newcastle/Gateshead, Nottingham, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Sheffield and Sunderland.

FIFA require twelve or so stadiums with a minimum of 40,000 capacity for the Group games, including two that hold 80,000 for the opening game and the Final. Generally no more than two stadiums per city are allowed (though it looks as though London might ask for special dispensation to add other grounds to Wembley and The Emirates). So, if the bid is successful, where are you likely to be watching World Cup Football? Wembley (90,000) obviously will hold the Final; the semis are likely to be at Old Trafford (76,212) and The Emirates (60,342) but the other nine grounds are harder to predict. Lord Triesman has made it obvious that he wants as wide a geographical spread as possible so distance from London is probably a plus mark. Local infrastructure will have to include training facilities, base camps and fan parks. Transport links (local, national and international) and accommodation will also be of paramount importance.

So, in no particular order, we look at the current applicants as possible venues.

Plans are in place to increase the capacity of the Walker Stadium, Leicester, to the required 40,000. Loughborough University and Leicester Tigers Rugby Club are prominent in the bid, offering excellent training facilities. But you do feel that there is a surfeit of Midlands clubs in the hat and Leicester might lose out to their bigger, better known neighbours.

Full article: England – World Cup 2018.