Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by the Football Association

CHAPTER 13

WHAT IS NEEDED TO WIN THE BID TO STAGE A MAJOR INTERNATIONAL SPORTS TOURNAMENT?

  13.1  While international sports tournaments, and the bids to host them, vary greatly in their nature and scale—the Olympic Games and football World Cup occupying a special position—the ingredients of a successful bid are probably very similar. Without attempting to offer a comprehensive listing of these, recent experience with the World Cup 2006 campaign, suggests that the following are essential:

Internationally

  (i)  a long-term, systematic and conscious involvement and investment by the relevant national association in the running of the international sport—representation on its Governing Body, in its Secretariat and its committees, and assiduous networking and cultivation of sports leaders. A country whose national association lacks influence and friends will never host a world tournament. Where feasible, the national association's commitment to the international game and desire to be seen to be playing a leading role in its administration should be demonstrated by a track-record of well-conceived technical assistance to less advanced countries;

  (ii)  the active support of the sport's regional Confederation or Governing Body (equivalent of UEFA) and, where relevant, the likely or potential support of a proportion of members of the world governing body, ideally including its President;

  (iii)  wide international recognition, particularly within the world governing body, that England's turn has come—albeit that other bidders will claim the same for their countries;

Domestically

  (iv)  the active commitment to the bid of the sport's national authority, recognising that it may have to make considerable sacrifices, at the expense of the domestic game, to satisfy international expectations and win support;

  (v)  the active and committed support of Government, especially the Prime Minister and the Minister for Sport, together with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and its overseas posts;

  (vi)  an experienced and dynamic campaign director and committed and competent campaign staff, covering the range of skills required in mounting a bid;

  (vii)  an adequate campaign budget, ideally with additional commercial sponsorship and involvement;

  (viii)  internationally recognised, respected and influential people to front the bid—"Bid Ambassadors";

  (ix)  first class stadia and supporting facilities, available on time;

  (x)  domestic support from clubs and the sports administrators, together with regional and local authorities;

  (xi)  a lack of serious, potentially undermining factors, eg doubts about stadia and other facilities, security and crowd behaviour. (Unless strong, effective and concerted action is taken by all concerned to end the violence of a relatively small number of trouble makers, who disturb sporting events at home and abroad, the spectre of incipient hooliganism will haunt all future bids for major football tournaments and potentially for other sports as well);

  (xii)  national media for the most part sympathetic to and involved in the Bid. The domestic media quite properly reserve the right to comment upon and, if justified, criticise national bids for international sporting events. As such criticism is carried by agencies and the Internet and instantly replicated throughout the world, often portraying opinion as fact, sensationalised and persistent criticisms of any bid can undermine and destroy it. While media cultivation by the campaign team will be important in gaining a positive press, the intrinsic merits of the bid and conduct of the campaign need to be such as to command the support of fair-minded journalists.

December 2000


 
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