The ex French footballer, once a star at Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United, and also fondly remembered at Aston Villa, has backed England’s bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup. As it stands the two most likely winning bids to host the tournament are from Russia and England. The combined bid from Spain and Portugal and the other bid, by the Netherlands, are considered unlikely alternatives.
It appears set for a close finish with the winner, probably one of Russia or England, genuinely not known as of yet and the lobbying for votes is likely to continue until the very last moments, perhaps even until minutes before the votes are cast. David Ginola, working as an ambassador for the English bid, said ”we have the important vote on the 3rd December and I really believe that England will be the one chosen by FIFA. As a Frenchman I’ve been working in this country for several years and I don’t see why England, after the World Cup of 1966, shouldn’t be able to hold another one. They’ve got everything, the knowledge of the game and the knowledge of organising big events like the Olympics in 2012. To host the World Cup in 2018 would be a fantastic opportunity and I really think it will be remembered for generations because English football is well known around the world. As you probably know, wherever you travel people are aware of English football.” The bids for the right to host the tournament by Netherlands and Spain / Portugal are considered very good themselves but it is believed that the lobbying by the English and Russian representatives has been the most successful and that these two nations are ahead of the pack.
The Russian bid involves plenty of new construction, including stadiums, railways, motorways and hotels, whereas the English bid involves far less new construction, what with the infrastructure in the country already being very impressive and the variety of football stadia available recognised as being splendid. The English bid focuses on the appetite for football in the country and the popularity of the English offering of the game, the English Premier League, throughout the world. The English bid has also focused on the somewhat strange situation, that the English believe needs to be remedied, that the World Cup has not been hosted in England since 1966, 44 years ago. This was the only time the World Cup has been held in England and considering England is widely acknowledged as the home and birthplace of football it is a rather strange situation.
Russia has a similar complaint. The country has never hosted the World Cup and believes it currently is able to do so. The Russian bid focuses on just how much the country has moved on from it’s recent Soviet past and the appetite there is in the country for an event of this magnitude.