Boost for Iberian WC bid
Spain and Portugal World Cup 'ideal' say inspectors
Last Updated: 03/09/10 3:02pm
Mayne-Nicholls: Rates Iberian bid
The head of Fifa's inspection team has revealed Spain and Portugal have a strong chance of being elected as World Cup host.
The two countries have both hosted major football tournaments separately, but have entered a joint bid to stage the World Cup in either 2018 or 2022, for which Fifa are currently undertaking their inspection programme.
Spain and Portugal are competing against several other bidders, including England, to host the event and Fifa inspection delegation head Harold Mayne-Nicholls has promised the joint Iberian bid a 'very positive' report after wrapping up the four-day inspection.
"The Iberian bid has many chances of being elected to organise the football World Cup in 2018 or 2022," he said.
"Our report is going to be very positive because we have observed that they have a great sport, hotel and transport infrastructure, as well as a strong support from their political and sports authorities."
After concluding the inspection in Lisbon at Benfica's 65,647-capacity Estadio da Luz, Mayne-Nicholls branded the bid's stadiums as the 'ideal sceneries for millions of sports people who follow football on a permanent basis'.
The Chilean Football Federation president also drew upon the close co-operation between the neighbouring nations, adding: "We are sure that the coordination on a state level which would be necessary if the World Cup came to the Iberian Peninsula is fully guaranteed."
Bidding for the chance to host either the World Cup's 21st or 22nd edition are Russia, England, the United States, Belgium-Netherlands and Spain-Portugal.
Meanwhile, Japan, Australia, Qatar and South Korea have applied solely for the 2022 finals.
The Fifa inspection team fly out to the United States next week before concluding its whistle-stop tour of potential tournament hosts in Qatar, ahead of the Fifa executive committee's final decision on December 2nd.