World Cup 2018: Full Fifa report on England’s 2018 bid

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta
sepp blatter
The final vote takes place on 2 December (Photo: Marcello Casal Jr. / ABr)

sepp blatter

Read a copy of Fifa’s full report on England’s 2018 bid ahead of the final vote to decide who will host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups on 2 December.

As part of the bidding process, FIFA requested each Bidder to provide information on infrastructure, legal conditions, operational and legacy concepts for the organisation of a FIFA World Cup┞¢. This Bid Evaluation Report evaluates the information provided in the Bidding Documents, indicates the extent to which the requirements have been fulfilled, and identifies potential gaps and risks in respect of FIFA’s requirements for hosting a FIFA World Cup┞¢.

The report is based on an unbiased assessment, taking into account FIFA’s experience of hosting and staging previous editions of the FIFA World Cup┞¢, the information, proposals and statements provided by the Bidder and the information gathered during the on-siteinspection tour by means of sample assessment of the venues and facilities.

The England bid’s legacy is based on the establishment of “Football United”, a global fund associated with the FIFA World Cup┞¢ and aimed at driving positive global social change and development.

The bid’s hosting concept proposes two FIFA Fan Fest┞¢ sites per candidate Host City, with one site specifically tailored to families. The bid is supported by the national and local football authorities, the local city governments (by virtue of duly executed Host City Agreements), the stadium authorities (by virtue of duly executed Stadium Agreements) and the national government (by virtue of duly executed Government Guarantees).

The bid proposes 12 candidate Host Cities and 17 stadiums, thus exceeding FIFA’s minimum requirement. Five of the 17 stadiums already exist and would be renovated, five are to be built or are already under construction, and seven are built with no further renovation indicated. A stadium construction and renovation budget of USD 2.54 billion has been projected.

In terms of football development, the Bid Book puts forth a range of initiatives targeted at England and other parts of the world. Focus areas include school sport, physical education and grassroots football. English football is respected worldwide and its teams have recorded various successes at club and international level. England has experience of hosting large-scale international events in the last 20 years, including the UEFA EURO 1996 and the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

In addition, England will host the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympic Games and the 2015 IRB Rugby World Cup. England was also the host country of the 1966 FIFA World Cup┞¢.

If England is awarded the hosting rights, FIFA’s legal risk appears to be low.

The Bidder has not contracted the required number of venue-specifi c training sites (VSTS) or venue-specifi c team hotels (VSTH). The Bidder has contracted the required number of team base camp (TBC) training sites but has not contracted the required number of TBC hotels.

Additional training sites, likely to be selected from England’s existing range of professional club stadiums and training sites, may have to be considered. The proposed TBC renovations would have to be ensured, and some pairings should be reviewed.

In terms of accommodation, the Bidder proposes a relatively large inventory. However, the fact that not many of the rooms have been contracted in full compliance with FIFA’s template Hotel Agreement requires further analysis and potentially renegotiation. FIFA could be exposed to excessive pricing and booking conditions and the constituent groups may choose not to use the relevant properties. The Bidder has submitted a suitable proposal for the FIFA headquarters pending the contracting of additional hotel rooms.

Although England does not have an extensive high-speed rail network, it has a high level of domestic and international accessibility, with an extensive rail and road network and two major international airports in London Heathrow and Manchester.

It appears that the country’s IT infrastructure would meet FIFA’s IT requirements. International standards for major event safety and security and for health and medical services are likely to be met.

The Bidder has submitted concepts for initiatives pertaining to sustainable social and human development and environmental protection. The Bidder has also submitted suitable proposals for competition-related event venues in seven cities.

Marketing, media and communication matters have also been addressed. The information provided in the Bid Book suggests that England is the leading football sponsorship market in the world and one of the biggest markets for major sports event sponsorship in the world.

In terms of TV rights, the current listed-event regulations in the United Kingdom, which adversely affects the free and unrestricted exploitation of media rights, needs to be suspended in accordance with the undertakings given in Government Guarantee No. 6 (Protection and Exploitation of Commercial Rights). Should the FIFA World Cup┞¢ be hosted in Europe, the TV ratings in Europe and the European media rights income are likely to be secured.

The Bidder has submitted an expenditure budget of USD 722.9 million (current) for a FIFA Confederations Cup and FIFA World Cup┞¢ in 2017 and 2018. The budget has been submitted in the format required with supporting information. A projection of approximately 3,397,000 sellable tickets has been made.

If England is awarded the hosting rights, FIFA’s legal risk appears to be low. The requirements for contractual documents have been met and the necessary government support has been secured with the exception of the reservations and qualifications to four Government

Guarantees as contained in the Government Legal Statement, the UK Government has been given the opportunity to gain experience in supporting the hosting and staging of major sports events and to show its willingness to make material concessions and accommodate the concerns of event organisers.

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