England United, The World Invited

Tuesday, 19, May, 2009

Engand’s bid to host the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup was officially launched at Wembley Stadium on Monday 18 May.

A number of high-profile guests were invited to the launch including the Prime Minister Gordon Brown, FA Chairman, Lord Triesman, Sir Geoff Hurst, Sir Bobby Charlton, David Beckham and Wayne Rooney. The FA’s President HRH Prince William also sent a special satellite-link message of support.

Other nations who have expressed interest in hosting world football’s showpiece event in 2018 or 2022 are Australia, Belgium-Netherlands (joint bid), Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Portugal-Spain (joint bid), Russia, USA, Qatar (2022 only) and South Korea (2022 only).

"This is the most competitive bid there has ever been," said Andy Anson, Chief Executive to the Bid project. "[FIFA] have done away with the rotation policy of different continents so we have impressive rivals from all around the world.

"We have to be aware that we have no special right to stage the World Cup and we will have to earn it.

"We will be looking to build on the passion evident in football all around the country as we have people playing football everywhere and fans filling stadiums every week throughout the Premier League and Football League," he continued.

"Our stadiums are excellent and in Wembley we have an iconic venue. We also have to stress how we can help develop football around the world."

FIFA will confirm the hosts of both World Cups in December 2010.