England face fight for 2018 World Cup

It may be just a friendly tonight at Wembley, but the Football Association have been warned that it faces the mother of all battles to defeat its American counterparts when it comes to winning the 2018 World Cup bid. The United States' top football officials have also hinted that England's game against Trinidad & Tobago on Sunday will not secure them the vote of the influential Concacaf president, Jack Warner.

Both nations will bid for the 2018 tournament – although the US have yet officially to announce it – and the FA had hoped that it would steal a march on its rivals by playing the game in the Caribbean. Warner, a controversial figure for his involvement in a 2006 World Cup finals ticketing scandal, is the Concacaf president, representing north and central America and the Caribbean, and one of the 24 Fifa executives who vote on who will host the World Cup finals.

The president of the US soccer federation (USSF), Sunil Gulati, said that his country had nothing to fear from any of the contenders. "I think the FA are more sophisticated than thinking they are going to get Jack Warner's vote on the back of playing one game," he said. "There aren't any Concacaf bidders at this point and Mr Warner is the president of Concacaf."

Gulati also hinted that he might be more accommodating to the FA chief executive Richard Scudamore's controversial plans for the Premier League's "international round", involving a 39th game to the season played abroad and an idea that was derided by Fifa. Gulati said that the USSF could sanction the staging of the Community Shield in the US, although that game falls under the FA's remit rather than that of the Premier League.

"I don't think the principle is a foolish one. We have to follow Fifa guidance and in the past when countries wanted to play official games in the US we have declined," he said. "We have hosted the Italian equivalent of the Community Shield in 1993 and that would be very different to holding a Premier League game. We would consider it. The message about the 39th game was released the wrong way."

It is what the US can do for the World Cup, however, that the FA will fear most. The USSF will present a bid document offering Fifa the choice of 50 stadiums with a capacity of 70,000 or more. The attendance total for the 1994 World Cup finals in the US is still the competition's record, even though subsequent tournaments have staged more games. The USSF flagship will be the New York Jets' and New York Giants' new stadium in New Jersey, which will cost £700m and hold 90,000. The Dallas Cowboys' new stadium will cost £500m and will be open by 2011.

Gulati, an economics professor, said: "There is no a country in the world in a better position in terms of stadium facilities and size. We could have hosted the World Cup in 1998 in stadiums that didn't even exist when we hosted it in 1994 and we could have done the same in 2002 and not use any stadiums that existed in 1998.

"The FedEx Field [home of the Washington Redskins] is 12 years old and people are talking about building another one. Every city has one: stadiums with domes that open and close, you name it. My point is that it is not a question of fearing any country. We think we'd have a great bid."

Timeline for 2018 bid

November 2005 Government announces study into England bid.

February 2007 Chancellor Gordon Brown gives his backing.

October 2007 Football Association confirms bid.

2009 Bidding to close.

October 2011 Host country announced.

Arts and Entertainment
TVShow's twee, safe facade smashed by ice cream melting scandal
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
tv
Life and Style
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Actor, model and now record breaker: Jiff the Pomeranian
Video
News
REX/Eye Candy
science
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
News
i100
News
Down time: an employee of Google uses the slide to get to the canteen
scienceBosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?