England still the 'perfect place' to host 2018 World Cup, says Capello

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The Independent Football

Fabio Capello insists England remain the best potential World Cup 2018 host. The Football Association are still reeling from the weekend exposé that cost Lord Triesman his job as both chairman of the bid and chairman of the organisation as a whole.

Fifa are also to investigate the allegations made against the Russian and Spanish FAs contained within Lord Triesman's broadside to determine whether they contravened bid regulations.

The whole sorry affair has had a negative effect on the chances of England winning the right to host the biggest football tournament on the planet, with Russia now assuming the role of favourites. Former FA chairman Geoff Thompson is the man who has been charged with sorting out the mess ahead of the final decision in December this year.

However, Capello has issued a timely rallying cry as the FA try to shore up their position. "I am confident we will still be able to host 2018," said the England manager. "England is the perfect place to host the World Cup. The facilities and the stadiums are really good and it is the best country in the world to play football in."

Although they are now in a position of weakness, some argue Triesman's exit will assist England in the long run. His confrontational style was not to everyone's taste and Thompson has spent the past decade building up contacts within the global game which he can now use to the FA's advantage.

"My relationship with Lord Triesman was really good and I am sorry for what happened," reflected Capello. "But the chance to win the bid for 2018 is still the same. The people who have to decide will probably understand what has happened."

Meanwhile, Capello is delighted the long-awaited National Football Centre in Burton has moved significantly closer to being completed.

Mothballed for so long, the Burton project has now been given planning permission, which means buildings to house coaching and medical staff, plus equipment to compliment some of the best training pitches in the country, can start to be built under the guidance of former Football League chairman David Sheepshanks, who has taken over part of Triesman's old remit as temporary co-chairman of the FA.

"I spoke with David Sheepshanks who told me that in the next year it will be possible to build a hotel, gym and everything else," said Capello. "I went to see it two years ago. The pitches are really good and it is in an excellent location. It will be really important for England to have one hub where you can train and where you can prepare managers and young players."

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