England’s 2018 World Cup bid team have revealed the names of the 12 cities that will be part of their campaign:
Birmingham (Villa Park), Bristol (New Ashton Vale), Leeds (Elland Road), Liverpool (Anfield or New Anfield), London (Wembley, Emirates Stadium, New White Hart Lane/Olympic Stadium*), Manchester (Eastlands, Old Trafford), Milton Keynes (Stadium MK), Newcastle (St James’ Park), Nottingham (New stadium), Plymouth (New Home Park), Sheffield (Hillsborough), Sunderland (Stadium of Light)
*Fifa rules state one city can have a maximum of three stadia – in London either a new White Hart Lane or the 2010 Olympic Stadium will get the nod
As someone who grew up in Plymouth, I’m delighted that it has made the final list. The south-west is often overlooked, with Bristol thought of as a cut-off point – well, Cornwall is a long way from Bristol, so Plymouth deserves its place, and Argyle get the new stadium they badly need.
Derby, Hull and Leicester missed out, but the Midlands is well represented, while supporters in Hull have several options in the north.
It looks like a strong set of stadia to me; increasingly I get the feeling that England has a very, very good chance of landing the 2018 tournament.
What do you make of the list?