Birmingham United behind World Cup bid

By on 07/09/2009 in News

Birmingham's bid to be a host city for the World Cup 2018 was given a multi-team, star-studded
kick- off today when a host of football players and fans from Birmingham - ranging from ballet dancers, musicians and comedians to Michelin starred chefs (** see notes below)  joined the Leader of Birmingham City Council, Cllr Mike Whitby, Deputy Leader, Paul Tilsley and Cabinet Member for Sport, Leisure and Culture, Cllr Martin Mullaney in front of the Council House, Victoria Square. 

Putting friendly football rivalry aside, all were there to pledge their backing of Birmingham's bid and to drum up support for the campaign from the public by encouraging everyone to vote for Birmingham at a new website  www.backthebirminghambid.com

As one of sixteen cities vying to be selected as a host city for the official England World Cup 2018 Bid  (www.england2018bid.com) Birmingham has until 6th November 2009 to submit an official bid to the FA outlining its facilities and plans for the World Cup.  Votes from members of the public will count towards the city's chances of being selected.

Birmingham’s bid is built on a strong partnership with Aston Villa FC, using Villa Park as the stadium venue and the city’s other Football Clubs – Blues and West Bromwich Albion – providing training grounds and camps.

There would also be four team base camps in the region where National teams would stay for the duration of the tournament. The NEC would become the site of a National Fan Park and there would be another Local Fan Park at Cannon Hill Park. 

The city's iconic buildings and venues would also be used for other major elements of the competition such as the official Tournament Draw and there would be a host of 'live' sites from to watch matches, whilst the city would be festooned with banners, flags and posters to welcome the national teams and visitors.

Cllr Mike Whitby said: “Birmingham is an ideal host city. We've got everything, the transport infrastructure, the facilities, the expertise and of course a huge passion for sport. Such is our cultural diversity that we can guarantee a warm welcome for any teams based in Birmingham and, very likely, a home crowd for every game.

“Hosting the World Cup would be a tremendous achievement for the city, enabling us to showcase our ability to stage international sporting events on a grand scale and involving everyone in the community in some way. We hope that the public will pledge their support by voting for Birmingham as a host city.”

Cllr Paul Tilsley, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Birmingham is an ideal city for World Cup matches to be staged in 2018. We have a real passion for football and the facilities on offer would undoubtedly be loved by players, coaching staff and fans alike. Big matches have been staged here in the past and I hope they will again in the future.”

The official FA England Bid team will be in the city this Wednesday 9th September to carry out site inspections and assess key elements of the bid like transport, security, medical facilities as well as Villa Park, the NEC and key hotels. 

The FA will announce which 11 English cities will go forward as part of the official England 2018 bid by December 2009.  England's Bid to FIFA will then be submitted by May 2010 and after the World Cup in South Africa, FIFA will announce the 2018 Host Nation by December 2010.

-ends-

Notes to Editors

  • The Bid has been coordinated through a Team Birmingham approach, with key partners working closely together to raise the profile of the city's bid. These include Marketing Birmingham, Birmingham City Council, the city's three main football clubs and the NEC who have all come together to spearhead the campaign and encourage people to pledge their support.
  • Attendees at the launch, alongside Cllr Mike Whitby, Leader , Cllr Paul Tilsley, Deputy Leader and Cllr Martin Mullaney, Cabinet Member for Sport, Leisure and Culture Birmingham City council were:  Birmingham City FC players Cameron Jerome and Martin Taylor and avid Blue nose, comedian Jasper Carrott..  Former Villa player, Ian Taylor was also there to show his support alongside current Villa defender Carlos Cuellar and arch Villans, Phil Etheridge lead singer of Birmingham based indie rock band The Twang, and Birmingham Royal Ballet dancer, Kit Holder.   They were joined by Birmingham City FC Ladies Team  Centre Forward Cristina Torkilsden as well as  Jabbar Khan manager of  Lasan Indian Restaurant.
  • A list of endorsements for the Bid is available as a separate document and includes local football managers, Martin O' Neill, Aston Villa FC and Alex McLeish
  • Please note the www.backthebirminghambid.com website currently has a holding page at which visitors can be directed to the England 2018 Bid website to register their support and vote for Birmingham. It will be fully live from  14th  September when it will feature a new interactive element called 'One Kick For Birmingham' More information about this will be forthcoming in the next week.

Media enquiries: Roulla Xenides, S&X  T 0121 604 6366  roulla@sx-media.com

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