England 2018 boosted by FIFA's Russia warning- 20 Aug 2010 00:00:00
England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup has been boosted after world governing body FIFA warned rival bidder Russia that they must begin building their stadiums and infrastructure immediately if they are to host the finals in 2018 or 2022.
The announcement came after FIFA inspectors completed a four-day visit to Russia which many believe to be the front-runner in the bidding race.
‘Work needs to start now to guarantee everything will be in place in time,’ said FIFA's Harold Mayne-Nicholls.
Up to 10 new stadiums could be built with Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium the proposed venue for the final.
Mayne-Nicholls, who heads FIFA's inspection committee, added that the visit to the four potential host cities of St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kazan and Sochi had been ‘excellent’.
FIFA's executive committee will decide who will host the World Cup in 2018 and 2022 at a meeting in Zurich on 2nd December.
Russia's rivals to host the tournaments are England, the United States, and joint bids from Belgium and the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal.
Australia, Japan, South Korea and Qatar are applying for the 2022 finals only.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told FIFA during its inspection that his country will waive visa requirements for participants if it wins hosting rights, an idea the delegation warmly received.
Visitors from nearly all countries require a visa to travel to Russia, which must be applied for in advance.
Putin also said the construction of 'world-class' football stadiums will go ahead regardless of whether Russia is granted hosting rights, which will be co-funded out of state money and private investment.
FIFA's inspection team has already visited Japan, South Korea, Australia and Belgium and the Netherlands.
Their next visit is to England, starting next week, where they will spend time with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg as well as witness a series of events that will take place across the country.