POSTED: December 29th 2008

Spain bids for the world

Italy, World Cup-winners in Spain in 1982 /
Italy, World Cup-winners in Spain in 1982 /

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

LONDON/MADRID: Spain is not only pushing for Olympic approval in the decade ahead. Madrid’s bid to host the Games in 2016 is being partnered by applications for the basketball world championship in 2014 and the football World Cup in 2018.

The Spanish football federation approved its own 2018 project just before Christmas after president Angel Maria Villar obtained a government go-ahead from Sports Minister Jaime Lissavetzky.

Villar, like football officials in England, Russia and Holland-with-Belgium, believe that Europe is favourite to host the finals in 2018 after the events in Africa (South Africa 2010) and in South America (Brazil 2014).

Madrid endgame

A vice-president of both world federation FIFA and European association UEFA, Villar wants to bring the Final itself back to the Estadio Bernabeu in Madrid, just as at the climax of Spain’s previous hosting in 1982.

The one contentious development is that Villar, after initially saying Spain would bid alone, now envisions a joint bid with western neighbour Portugal – host to the 2004 European Championship. That may work against Spanish hopes since FIFA president Sepp Blatter has indicated in the past that the world federation will always look more favourably on single-bid nations.

A decision will be taken in December 2010, some 14 months after Madrid will discover the fate of its bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games.

The International Olympic Committee votes between Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo in October in Copenhagen. Madrid’s status as outsider was enhanced after the Chicago bid gained the confidence impetus of seeing Barack Obama win the US Presidential election.

A decision on Spain’s bid to host the FIBA Basketball World Championship will be taken in April.

Keywords · Spain · FIFA World Cup · 2018 · Olympic Games · 2016 · IOC · FIBA · Villar

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