Sunderland chairman cautious over England 2018 bid
Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn is unsure whether England’s bid to host the World Cup in 2018 will be successful following the visit of six FIFA delegates to the Stadium of Light on Tuesday.
The former Republic of Ireland international showed the FIFA members around Sunderland’s home ground before the delegation then travelled on to St James’ Park.
However, Quinn rejected the claims of deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who said he believed the bid is ‘unbeatable’.
“The passion for it hopefully will be paramount in their minds when they sit down and write their reports and they say, ‘Hey, do you know something, those people up in the North East, they wanted this so badly, they prepared and they ticked the right boxes’,” said Quinn.
“Have we done that? I can’t possibly say. I certainly wouldn’t be as confident as the deputy prime minister – that’s not the way we should be thinking.
“There will be more work to be done between now and the first week in December.”
Officials at Sunderland organised a training session for young children to emphasise the importance of a successful World Cup bid within the local community.
And Olympian Steve Cram added to Quinn’s words, saying he was “cautiously optimistic” over the nation’s chances of hosting football’s most prestigious event.
The 49-year-old said: “We hope we can convince them that the World Cup would come here and the people would go away thinking, ‘That was a great World Cup’. That’s what you are trying to deliver.
“The stadia are very important, but it is what happens inside that counts and the atmosphere that’s created. That’s what really changes it.”