Date: 24th September 2009 at 10:29am
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The first round of FA visits to all the potential host cities has now taken place and round two has begun. Of the original fifteen starters, all have passed the first stage and in fact, a sixteenth, Plymouth, have added their name.

From Vital England:

The News, Portsmouth’s daily paper, remain convinced that the success of their bid hangs on whether Pompey’s football stadium – wherever it will be – can cope with the required number of spectators. Portsmouth FC have been promising a new stadium since the 60’s but the football club has repeatedly assured the city council and the FA that it is fully behind the bid and committed to providing a new stadium.

Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson said that although the city council did not have the money, the £10/£15million needed to host the games, could be raised through regional agencies or private sponsorship.

He added: “I think it is doable.”

But the worrying part of his statement was when he said “But the good news that came out of the meeting is that the city can get out of that commitment if the stadium doesn’t go ahead or if it proves that we cannot afford it.” A current poll of Portsmouth residents, run by The News, (http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/13755/Make-your-vote-count-.4285535.jp) asking simply “Will Portsmouth be a venue for the 2018 World Cup?” “Yes” or “No” currently shows 98% of the participants thinking that they will not be a venue. (Not much confidence there then!)

Full article: England – 2018 Cities Bid Updates.