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Dec 16, 2009

England names candidate cities

The England bid team for the 2018 World Cup finals has confirmed the 15 cities and stadia which will host matches should the application be successful.

• Quinn hails bid success

Sunderland, London, Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Newcastle-Gateshead, Bristol, Plymouth, Liverpool and Milton Keynes have been revealed as successful. Manchester has two stadia named and London three.

Derby, Leicester and Hull were the only cities not selected ahead of the FIFA vote in December 2010.

The full list of 15 with stadia is as follows:

Birmingham: Villa Park
Bristol: New Ashton Vale Stadium
Leeds: Elland Road
Liverpool: Anfield or New Anfield
London: Wembley;
London: Emirates Stadium
London: New White Hart Lane or Olympic Stadium
Manchester: City of Manchester Stadium;
Manchester: Old Trafford
Milton Keynes: Stadium MK
Newcastle: St James' Park
Nottingham: New stadium
Plymouth: Home Park
Sheffield: Hillsborough
Sunderland: Stadium of Light

FIFA will make the final decision over host cities and stadia by 2013. It is likely that FIFA will decide on a final list of 12, cutting three stadia from the submitted shortlist.

London has an either/or depending upon the building of the new White Hart Lane and the decision over the future of the 2012 Olympic Stadium. FIFA regulations state only three stadia can be used in any one city, with a decision to be made between the new White Hart Lane or Olympic Stadium.

Liverpool's stadium will depend upon Liverpool building a new ground. The venues in Bristol and Nottingham will also be new builds.

The Candidate Host Cities have had to make £300 million worth of financial guarantees plus a commitment of over £100 million towards legacy and urban regeneration projects.

The decision was reached by a technical panel chaired by Brian Mawhinney and including England 2018 Chief Executive, Andy Anson, and Chief Operating Officer, Simon Johnson.

Mawhinney said: "This is a tremendous day for the England 2018 World Cup Bid. The whole of football has worked in partnership throughout this process and it is significant that eight Premier League clubs and six Football League clubs' stadiums will be named in our Bid book to FIFA. Additionally, many other clubs are under consideration as training venues.

"We are committed to producing a technical bid that exceeds FIFA's requirements and we believe the outstanding work of the Candidate Host Cities we will now be putting forward gives us the best chance to do this and be successful at the vote in December 2010.

"Our Candidate Host Cities provide an exciting mix of iconic venues, stadiums that can be extended and brand new builds. Importantly this process ensures our cities are 100% compliant with FIFA's technical criteria and that crucial guarantees have been signed ahead of our submission to FIFA on 14th May 2010. We look forward to the hard work ahead with our new Candidate Host Cities in finalising a technical bid this country can be proud of."

Anson added: "We thank all of the cities involved for their commitment, professionalism and enthusiasm. The passion for World Cup football demonstrated by the public during the Applicant Host City process has been staggering.

"It is also clear, that the whole of English football has been united behind the bid to help develop our technical submission, with support coming from the Premier League and Football League clubs through to the grassroots game. This makes everyone involved even more determined to produce the best bid possible and we are thrilled to have these Candidate Host Cities on board."

England 2018 Technical Director, Ian Riley, who was previously Technical Director for the South Africa 2010 World Cup Bid, added: "We've been delighted by the response of the cities to this process over the past six months. The technical team, including more than 30 industry-leading experts, has been able to build up extremely productive working relationships with the cities involved to ensure we deliver the best technical bid possible."

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