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PM welcomes FIFA President to Downing Street

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Prime Minister David Cameron has welcomed Sepp Blatter to Downing Street today to discuss England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup.

The PM said England is “ready, willing and able to deliver the best World Cup ever and the best legacy ever” if the bid is successful.

Mr Cameron stressed England’s bid had the “highest level of Government backing” and the Government was working to strengthen the bid on a day to day basis.

The visit follows the FIFA Inspection visit in August, when Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg hosted an event for the delegation at Number 10.

The PM said Mr Blatter’s visit was a key moment in the campaign to host the tournament.

He said:

Football is our national game. It’s the glue that binds the country together. It unites people from all backgrounds, all ages, all walks of life.

I hope you see just how passionate England is about this bid and how much of an honour it would be if we were chosen to host the World Cup”.

Mr Cameron argued that England is well prepared to host the World Cup with stadiums, transport links and infrastructure in place and said England’s strength lay in ”its people” who had been instrumental in kicking racism right out of football.

The PM also said that if the bid is successful, England 2018′s ’Football United’ global fund for football will aim to match FIFA’s current investment in grassroots football and social development worldwide by 2018.

The FIFA President was joined by members of the England 2018 team, including Chairman Geoff Thompson, Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt, Minister for Sport and the Olympics Hugh Robertson, and other supporters and ambassadors of England’s bid.

FIFA’s Executive Committee will select the hosts for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments in December.

Read more: Government backs England 2018 bid

Read more: England 2018 website [opens in new window]