Prince William leads final World Cup bid presentation

Prince William today led England's 2018 World Cup presentation to FIFA by telling members: "I love football, we English love football and it would be an honour for us to host the World Cup."

The prince, who was applauded by the 22-man executive committee before the presentation also stressed that England were committed to developing football internationally.

The presentation opened with Eddie Afekafe, a bid ambassador who works with Manchester City on their community programmes, explaining how football had changed his life.

William built on that, saying: "What Eddie represents is a credit to FIFA because it's your game that transformed his life.

"England 2018 and FIFA together have the opportunity to create thousands of more opportunities for people like Eddie.

"It's a supremely powerful force for binding people together.

"I love football, we English love football - that's why it would be such an honour for us to host the 2018 World Cup.

"I also give you an assurance that England is committed to developing football internationally as a member of your football family."

William also referred to his forthcoming marriage to Kate Middleton, saying: "We can deliver extraordinary public occasions - I certainly hope as I'm planning quite a big one myself next year.

"It will be truly a FIFA World Cup for the world."

In a presentation described by FIFA president Sepp Blatter as "excellent and remarkable", Beckham drew on memories of his grandad Joe who died a year ago today, just before he took part in the South African World Cup draw in Cape Town.

Beckham said: "My life in football began with my grandad Joe. I've played on every continent and I'm proud to have been part of the success that English football has enjoyed over the past 20 years.

"I could never have imagined that FIFA would have invited me to take part in the World Cup draw. A year ago today my grandad died, the day before the draw. Now I want to do something that will make my grandad proud.

"Now I want to do more. That's why I am here and why everyone from the Prime Minister to Prince William to Eddie is here today. The benefits will be felt over generations and your vote can make this happen.

"To create a better future for our grandchildren and many millions more, just imagine what we can achieve together.

"Our dream is to stage a World Cup that benefits billions, that makes you, your grandchildren and everyone in football truly proud."

Earlier, the Prince had been followed by Prime Minister David Cameron, who highlighted the Government's support and a commercial success for the tournament.

Cameron said: "We want to convince you of one thing only today, that we have the passion and the expertise to put on what we believe would be the most spectacular World Cup in history. There is the most incredible support for the World Cup back in England.

"The future King of England is right behind it, every club from the highest Premier League club to the lowest village team is backing this bid."

Cameron said England's bid would deliver for players, fans and FIFA.

"The players know they would be training in some of the best facilities available anywhere in the world and playing in stadiums that are some of the best world, always packed to the rafters.

"The fans would be safe as we have some the finest police in the world, we have great transport links between our cities, and most of all they will feel at home in England. Any nationality, any religion, any background and I can bet you we have these communities in England."

He finished: "Just imagine what a World Cup in England could be like - every day would be a beautiful day."

Afekafe had opened the presentation in a powerful performance by telling the FIFA members how football had "changed my life".

He said: "I grew up in one of the roughest parts of Manchester, most of the guys I grew up with were in gangs - some still are, some are in prison.

"What they didn't get but I got was an opportunity - and that was through football."

Blatter had given England's bid delegation a warm welcome, saying: "It's a privilege of FIFA to have Prince William of Wales here, but he's also the president of the FA and therefore a colleague of the 207 presidents of the other associations of FIFA."

Russia also staged an impressive bid with their FIFA member Vitaly Mutko pointing out that eastern Europe has never hosted the World Cup.

Mutko said: "Twenty one years ago the Berlin Wall was broken. Today we can break another symbolic wall and open a new era in football together.

"Russia represents new horizons for FIFA, millions of new hearts and minds and a great legacy after the World Cup, great new stadiums and millions of boys and girls embracing the game.

"Russia's economy is large and growing, and Russia's sports market is developing markedly."

Bid chief executive Alexei Sorokin even quoted Winston Churchill's remark of Russia being "a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma."

Sorokin said: "To some extent I can understand this perception as we are a bridge between the eastern and western world.

"I can also tell you the Russia to which Sir Winston referred is a Russia that no longer exists. A new Russia is looking forward to harnessing the power of world football to move it forward.

"This could be a game-changer for Russia and for FIFA."

The presentation was concluded by deputy prime minister Igor Shuvalov who returned to the theme of taking the World Cup to a new territory.

Shuvalov said: "We deserve it, we represent part of the world which has never hosted the World Cup - with the former Soviet republics we represent 200million people.

"The World Cup will help Russia to overcome all the tragic days and tragic history we had in the last century.

"Choosing Russia you have no risk at all - we are very stable and financially we have huge reserves.

"But our major wealth is not oil and gas - our people are our most important wealth and if you let us host the World Cup we will do that in a manner you have never had in your history."

"Let us make history together."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
artCultural relations between Sydney and Melbourne soured by row over milk crate art instillation
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
filmBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
Arts and Entertainment
Preparations begin for Edinburgh Festival 2014
Edinburgh festivalAll the best shows to see at Edinburgh this year
News
Two giraffes pictured on Garsfontein Road, Centurion, South Africa.
i100
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleBenidorm, actor was just 68
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
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

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices