Manchester will be one of the World Cup host cities if England is successful in its bid to hold the competition in 2018, with both Manchester United and Manchester City’s stadia being used for matches.
The announcement was made earlier today by the Football Association in London. It represents the culmination of a six-month bidding process where the city had to demonstrate why it deserved to be one of the host cities.
United's chief executive David Gill said: “It's great news that Old Trafford is part of England’s bid. It is the most historic of all the venues, celebrating its centenary in February 2010, and has hosted some major games in recent years; from the Champions League final in 2003 to England World Cup qualifiers, to Champions League semi-final ties in the last two years against Barcelona and Arsenal. I am confident that its inclusion makes England’s exceptional bid even stronger.”
Councillor Mike Amesbury, Manchester City Council executive member for arts and leisure, and Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, added in a joint statement: “This is fantastic news for Manchester. We put together a very strong bid which showed why our great city is so well-placed to be a host city for the greatest football tournament in the world.
“Football is in this city’s soul. Anywhere you go in the world, everyone knows about Manchester’s footballing heritage. If football comes home to England in 2018, it will represent a massive win for Manchester. Tens of millions of pounds will be pumped into the city and the eyes of the world will once again be turned to us.
“Central to our bid was the fact that Manchester has two of the best stadia in the world, at Old Trafford and the City of Manchester Stadium."