Newcastle United hosted a World Cup delegation at 10:00 am yesterday morning, and showed the delegation around the impressive St. James’ Park stadium.
Peter Beardsley and Derek Llambias with David Faulkner (center)
The FIFA World Cup delegation arrived on Tyneside as part of a four-day visit to England to assess England’s bid to host the tournament in 2018.
The six-strong party was led by Chilean Federation President Harold Mayne-Nicholls, and included members of England’s 2018 bid team, and they arrived by helicopter for an extensive tour of the stadium.
Newcastle United Managing Director Derek Llambias was the host along with Newcastle legend and Reserve Team Coach Peter Beardsley, as well as David Faulkner, Leader Elect of the Newcastle City Council.
After a successful showing of Newcastle’s very impressive facilities, Derek Llambias said:
“It was a very good visit. We got some very good feedback from them and they were impressed with what we had to offer.”
“St. James’ Park is one of England’s great football stadia and Newcastle United has some of the most passionate supporters, so it was an honour to welcome the FIFA members during their visit.”
And former Newcastle and England star Peter Beardsley added:
“I was lucky enough to play in two World Cups and to host one in our own country would be something incredible.”
“To be part of something like this in your home city would be really special. If the World Cup is held in England, I think everyone would expect Newcastle to host matches because this is a special stadium and a special city.”
FIFA have already inspected cities and stadiums in Russia, plus joint bids from Holland and Belgium and Spain and Portugal.
And the delegation have also assessed bids from Australia and Japan, and will now visit America and Qatar before revealing which countries will host the World Cup in 2018 and 2022, on December 2nd.
England are favorites to get the 2018 and it could well be that the USA wins the 2022 World Cup, but we’ll need to wait a few months to find out.
And Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had given the City of Newcastle a huge compliment earlier in the week, by talking about the Newcastle City as breathing football, and the St. James’ Park Stadium as being the heartbeat of the city.
He’s right there.
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