Blatter set for Downing Street invite

Prime Minister David Cameron intends to invite FIFA president Sepp Blatter to Downing Street later in the year following confirmation he will miss next week's visit from the World Cup inspection team due to a family holiday.

Although the news is bound to be seen by some as a sign that the new coalition Government lacks confidence in the bid to host the 2018 World Cup, Cameron has spoken to Blatter on the telephone to advise he would not be around and has left a video message for the inspection team.

Blatter is believed to have assured Cameron it would not have a negative effect on the bid.

Instead, the bid team, led by Chile FA president Harold Mayne-Nicholls, will be hosted by deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who is in charge of national affairs during Cameron's two-week break.

"England 2018/22 is delighted to confirm that Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt will welcome the FIFA inspection team to England next week to assess the country's 2018/22 Bid for the FIFA World Cup," said a statement released by the 2018 bid team.

"The Prime Minister David Cameron spoke to FIFA President Sepp Blatter yesterday to discuss the Government's plans for the visit.

"During the conversation the Prime Minister reiterated his personal, and the coalition Government's, full support for England's bid.

"He asked for his apologies to be passed on to the FIFA inspection team for his absence from the visit due to a long standing family holiday and said he was looking forward to welcoming President Blatter to Downing Street in the autumn.

"He has recorded a personal video message for the FIFA Inspection Team."

The precise itinerary for the inspection team has still to be finalised.

However, 2018 chief executive Andy Anson is keen to highlight all the stadiums involved in the bid and there will certainly be trips out of London, where it is envisaged the opening game, as well as the final, would be held.

England face opposition from combined bids by Spain and Portugal and Holland and Belgium, plus the United States.

But it is believed the major opposition will come from Russia, who have gained momentum since launching their bid last year.

The final decision will be made by the 22-man FIFA executive in Zurich on December 2.

News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Extras
indybest
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
travel
Arts and Entertainment
music
Sport
football
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
News
i100
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.

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home