POSTED: December 16th 2009

London's Olympic Stadium picked in England's World Cup shortlist

Wembley would host the Final in 2018 if England is successful / lake images
Wembley would host the Final in 2018 if England is successful / lake images

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

LONDON, Dec 16: London's 2012 Olympic Games featured in England's selection of 17 stadia from 13 proposed host cities to be put forward to FIFA in the country's bid to host the 2018 World Cup.

London has three stadia proposed and four named. Definite selections are Wembley and Arsenal with an alternative offered between the proposed new Tottenham stadium and the Olympic Stadium.

The only other city with more than one venue proposed is Manchester represented by Manchester United's Old Trafford and Manchester City's City of Manchester stadium at Eastlands.

The full list of cities and stadia chosen is: Birmingham, Villa Park; Bristol, Ashton Vale (new); Leeds, Elland Road; Liverpool, Anfield or Anfield (new); London, Emirates Stadium; White Hart Lane (new) or Olympic Stadium; Wembley; Manchester, City of Manchester; Old Trafford; Milton Keynes, Stadium MK; Newcastle/Gateshead, St James Park; Nottingham, Nottingham Forest (new); Plymouth, Home Park; Sheffield, Hillsborough; Sunderland, Stadium of Light.

Explaining the either/or inclusion of the Olympic Stadium Lord Brian Mawhinney, who made the announcement, said:

“When it came to Tottenham’s new White Hart Lane or the new Olympic Stadium we ran up against a problem that other people’s timetable didn’t mesh with ours. The new White Hart Lane stadium will be splendid but at the moment they are at the planning point with a decision at some time early in the new year. Then, they have to put together funding with the aspiration to have it available in 2016.

“With the Olympic Stadium there is a debate about it and we are not in charge of it. There are some who think it should continue to be an 80,000-seat stadium; however, other voices say the stadium should be reduced to 25,000 to accommodate appropriate events. We don’t make that decision: it is someone else’s.

“FIFA has told us very clearly they will only have a maximum of three stadia from from any one city. That is a FIFA rule, with that in mind, if we are successful in our bid it is clear that, by 2013 when FIFA decides on venues, it will have much more information about both stadia than we have today - and be in a better position make such a decision [between them].”

The choice was made by a three-man panel comprising bid board member Mawhinney, chief executive Andy Anson and chief operating officer Simon Johnson.

England's bid has been damaged by internal politics over the leadership of FA chairman Lord David Triesman and the make-up of the board itself. Responding to that theme, Mawhinney said : "I hope as a result of today's annoncement - which will be at the heart of our bid book which goes to FIFA next May - that many more people will now accept that our bid is making excellent progress."

Keywords · London Olympic Games · 2012 · Olympic Stadium · England · World Cup · FIFA

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