Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has told FIFA that the coalition government is 100% behind England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup.
Mr Clegg welcomed FIFA inspectors to Number 10 at the start of their 4-day trip to assess the facilities and stadiums that are part of the England bid.
Speaking to members of the delegation, he said he believes the country has the infrastructure and facilities to host a “fantastic” World Cup.
Mr Clegg said:
We want to emphasise to you on the occasion of your visit that the commitments, the declarations, the guarantees provided by the previous government are ones which we back 100%.
His Sheffield constituency is in one of the areas hoping to stage some of the games. Commenting on the enthusiasm for the bid in the city, the Deputy Prime Minister said:
I know from that city that the excitement and the passion which is behind this bid really is very considerable and if we were lucky enough to be able to host the [World Cup] here I know it will inspire so many people in cities and communities up and down the country.
Following their visit to Number 10, the FIFA delegation toured Wembley Stadium and watched a community coaching session alongside England Manager Fabio Capello.
Nine countries are vying to host the 2018 World Cup. FIFA’s Executive Committee will select the hosts for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments in December.