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British PM Welcomes World Cup Green Light


British PM Welcomes World Cup Green Light

Gordon Brown has welcomed today's decision by FIFA to abandon its World Cup rotation policy from 2018, paving the way for an England bid.

In a Downing Street statement, the PM said he was "delighted" by the decision and that the Football Association would have the "full support" of the Government should they decide to bid. Under the rotation policy the 2018 tournament would have been bound for North and Central America but FIFA will now hold a more open contest based on merit.

The PM said:

"I am delighted that FIFA have opened the door for the World Cup to come back to England. By 2018, it will be 52 years since England hosted the World Cup. The nation which gave football to the world deserves to have the greatest tournament back on these shores.

"If The FA decide to go ahead and bid for the tournament, they know they will have the full support of the Government behind them, and we will make it our mission to persuade other countries to back us in bringing the World Cup back to England."

Brian Barwick, chief executive of the FA, said that England had "fantastic stadiums, a unique tradition and passion for the game" but that there would be "strong competition" - China and Australia are also rumoured to interested in holding the World Cup finals.

Last week FIFA President Sepp Blatter met Gordon Brown at 10 Downing Street and later told journalists he would welcome a bid from England, the "motherland of football". He added that FIFA did not want a repeat of the 2014 bidding process, centred on South America, when withdrawals left Brazil as the only viable option.

ENDS

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