23/08/2010

Fifa In England For 2018 Bid

The Fifa delegation arrived in England today as the country continues the campaign to host the 2018 World Cup.

The FIFA Inspection Team are to meet Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in Downing Street before touring Wembley Stadium with England manager Fabio Capello.

Facilities and stadiums in Manchester, Sunderland and Newcastle will also be assessed this week.

England 2018 Vice President David Beckham has put his support behind 'Back the Bid week'.

Beckham, who launched the Bid at Wembley Stadium in May 2009, has urged the nation to show their support through a series of events and campaigns during the Inspection Team's technical evaluation of the Bid: "The support we have had for the bid from the public over the past year has been incredible. Back the Bid Week provides the opportunity for the nation to come together again as a team and try and win the World Cup together," Beckham said.

"I've no doubt that fans from all over the country will unite and show the FIFA Inspection Team the type of passion and festival of football we could create if we staged the world's greatest sporting event."

A week of activity has been created to coincide with the visit between 23rd and 26th August.

Back the Bid flags and banners will cover cities and football grounds across the country and a range of public events including children's coaching sessions and mass-participation football games will be staged throughout the week.

Activity will involve each of the 12 Candidate Host Cities; England 2018 Ambassadors and celebrity supporters; Premier League and Football League clubs and players; England 2018 sponsors; schools, business and the public.

A national 'Wear Your Shirt to Work Day' will be staged tomorrow to mark 100 days to go before the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups are announced by FIFA. Councils in each of the host cities are behind the initiative along with major England 2018 partners such as Morrisons, PwC, BT and BA.

So far, more than 1.5 million people from over 200 countries across the world have already officially shown their support for the bid. Some of the biggest names in sport, entertainment, politics and royalty have Backed the Bid including: HRH Prince William, England captain Rio Ferdinand, Hollywood actor Ray Winstone, Formula One Champs Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button; and musicians Noel Gallagher and Robbie Williams.

Fans can Back the Bid by visiting www.england2018bid.com, www.facebook.com or by texting 'ENGLAND' to 62018.

(GK/BMcC)

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