Supplementary memorandum submitted by
the Football Association
THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION'S RESPONSE TO CRITICISMS
MADE OF ENGLAND'S BID IN THE FIFA INSPECTION GROUP REPORT ON THE
2006 WORLD CUP
The commentary that follows represents the Football
Association's response to criticisms made or below average marks
ascribed by the FIFA Inspection Group in the attached report.
The commentary and numbered references follow the order of the
report itself. A copy of the England's Technical Bid Document,
to which the FIFA report refers, is in the House of Commons Library.
As the report points out (pages 3 and 4), the
FIFA Inspection Group's assessment was based principally on the
Technical Bid Documents submitted to FIFA by the five candidates
on 9-10 August 1999. Marks based on this documentation awarded
by the inspectors are shown in Column A of the chart on pages
6 and 7. A subsequent, but less crucial, marking of the bids (Column
B) was awarded 30 days after the inspection, taking account of
clarifications obtained during the inspection and further information
provided by the candidates. FIFA marking was on a scale of five
(Excellent) to one (Unacceptable) (page 4).
(2.2 AND 3) (PAGE
England was initially given a marking of three
(Approval) and two (Guarantees) (Column A), as FIFA did not receive
guarantees from individual UK Ministries. At no point was the
FA advised that these were required. FIFA issued candidates with
a draft Goverment declaration covering all guarantees. The FIFA
List of Requirements stated that:
"By signing the Government declaration mentioned
under Section 2.2, Appendix A, the President or Prime Minister
and other government agencies officially undertake to comply with
guarantees requested by FIFA on behalf of the Government of the
Two signatures were requested on behalf of "the
government authorities". The England declaration was signed
by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, the Rt
Hon Chris Smith and by the then Minister for Sport, Tony Banks,
who obtained guarantees from the relevant Government Departments.
FIFA questioned the validity of Mr Smith's signature. The Prime
Minister responded to this in a letter to the FIFA President on
5 January 2000 confirming that all the necessary Government guarantees
were in place. Even this Prime Ministerial declaration and guarantee
were not enough for FIFA, whose Inspection Group, for unexplained
reasons, could bring itself to award a mark no higher than three
SECURITY (3. 4) (PAGE
Despite the inspectors' claim that no specific
guarantee was received, the FA provided a written guarantee within
the Bid documentation. Furthermore, a formal security guarantee
was included in the overall Government guarantee mentioned above.
Nonetheless and despite the FIFA Inspector's
admission in their Summary of Comments on England's Bid (page
20) that "England's ability to host major football competitions
in a secure and safe fashion, particularly as demonstrated in
Euro '96 is evident", marks of (only) three were awarded
in both Columns A and B.
(4.3) (PAGE 6)
England was awarded a mark of 2 (Column A),
raised subsequently to four (Column B).
FIFA required compliance with a standard form
contract with hotels, which had been created by Byrom, a firm
based in England. Initially FIFA's stipulations in relation to
the contract and the services of Byrom were uncertain. The FA
was not made aware of the importance of Byrom's role.
FIFA's sample hotel contract was considered
by the UK hotel industry to be extremely onerous and unworkable,
(the industry may have had previous dealings with Byrom and its
approach though the Ryder Cup). Among other requirements, the
contract stipulated fixed-price room rates seven years before
the event and that FIFA would be charged only for rooms actually
used. Byrom Consultants witnessed these objections at regional
hotel meetings around the country arranged by the FA, but no substantive
changes were made to the model contract.
When the FA came to submitting their Bid Document
in August 1999, it was able, reflecting the implacable position
of the hotel industry on the Byrom model, to incorporate only
a general, non-binding agreement with hotels in the Bid. Informed
during the inspection visit that unless FIFA's sample agreement
was accepted, England's Bid would be considered non-compliant,
the FA, with considerable help from DCMS and then only with great
difficulty, prevailed upon the hotel industry to conform with
FIFA's requirements. Even then, it was on the understanding that
the hotel industry's reservations would be considered were England
chosen to host the World Cup.
Understandable though the UK hotel sector's
objections may be, their position proved an obstacle to England's
Bid and resulted in low marks being awarded. It clearly is an
issue upon which Government, the sports authorities and the hotel
sector need to work together if future bids are not to be jeopardised.
The role of Byrom and their model caused difficulties with the
hotel industry. We have seen Mr Bitel's evidence. We note that
Mr Bitel had, or has, some form of relationship with Byrom, we
believe, as legal adviser.
England was awarded a marking of three in both
Columns A and B. FIFA questioned whether England could stage a
World Cup with a budget of (only) US$170 million.
England's budget was calculated with great care
by Deloitte and Touche over a period of a year and verified by
them before submission. England would have been able to stage
a World Cup with relatively less net capital expenditure than
most candidates. Many of England's stadia already meet FIFA standards
while others planned, under construction or being enlarged will
be completed whether or not the World Cup is hosted here. Thus
net capital expenditure on infrastructure would be comparatively
England's budget was discussed in detail with
the FIFA inspectors and no specific queries were raised. A marking
of only three is unwarranted: effectively what should have been
an advantage for England over its competitorsexcellent
existing stadia and consequently less additional capital outlaywas
apparently found unconvincing by FIFA, who marked England down.
REVENUE (6.2) (PAGE
FIFA again awarded marks of three and three.
Their only query was why income related solely to ticket receipts.
Before the Bid submission, FIFA were unable to clarify key revenue
aspects, such as what marketing rights were to be granted to host
nations. As a result, and, with hindsight, perhaps mistakenly,
Deloitte and Touche agreed with the FA prudently to work on a
worst case scenario excluding income from the Local Organising
Committee or value in kind.
Once again the revenue issue was discussed with
the FIFA Inspection Group, who raised no specific issues. If England's
revenue predictions were based upon a wrong assumption, the inspectors
should have said so, whereupon revised estimates would have been
submitted, allowing a higher mark to be awarded under Column B.
(8) (PAGE 7) AND
England's stadia were rated three (Column A)
and subsequently five (Column B). In the stadia chart (page 9)
and Summary of England's Bid (page 20), FIFA pointed out that
at three grounds "the dimensions of the pitch in combination
with the space behind the goal line and along the touch line did
not meet the requirements. However, within the 30-days extension
the written guarantee that the measurement will fully meet FIFA
requirements was submitted from each stadium owner".
Four other grounds (Leicester, Derby, Liverpool
and Sheffield (Hillsborough) were said by the FIFA inspectors
not to "meet FIFA's minimum seating requirement of 40,000
seats, excluding media (approximately 2,000 people and VIPs)".
On both counts the FIFA inspectors were technically
correct. However, as to pitch size and space behind the lines,
FIFA readily accepted that this was easily remedied and promptly
accepted guarantees that this would be done. On the second count
that four stadia, all of them seating more than 40,000 but not
42,000 did not conform, FIFA admitted that these grounds were
superfluous, as England had nominated 15 venues in all and far
more than the eight or so actually needed for the tournament easily
met FIFA's standards.
On these technicalities, FIFA rated England
three (Column A), the principal rating, in August 1999, raising
this to five following the inspection and submission of guarantees
from the three clubs. German stadia were, however, rated five
out of five and South African three out of five. In this, and
it could be no oversight, FIFA were not comparing like with like.
FIFA found technical fault, easily remedied, at modern, English
grounds which already existed and which in all other respects
met FIFA standards, comparing these with German and South African
stadia several of which are still on the drawing board or await
completion, or, indeed, which might never be built. For example,
none of the South Africa's stadia, some designed and used for
rugby and cricket, currently comes anywhere near to meeting FIFA
needs for covered seating. FIFA, moreover, chose to make no qualitative
assessment between England's modern, custom-built stadia and those
in South Africa and even Germany. The stadia charts blandly show
only capacity and projected dates for building or renovation to
be completed. Given the formidable financing demands of large
stadia building programmes (viz Wembley) and the risk of financial
and time overshooting, FIFA, were, in the FA's view, both wrong
and unfair to prefer the hypothetical to the real and, above all
in this key infrastructure sector, failing to give credit to England
where it was due. In faulting England for easily remediable, minor
points, the FIFA Inspection Group applied double standards. That
several FIFA Executive Committee membersnot supporters
of England's bidshould have poured scorn on the inspectors'
assessment offers objective corroboration that justice was not
CENTRE (2) (PAGE
Marks of three and three were awarded with the
"remark" that "three proposals were made, but not
seenno firm plans".
The FA deliberately offered FIFA a choice of
potential media centres rather than nominating one. Wembley Arena
and Conference Centre were viewed by the relevant inspector, Richard
Read, during the course of the visit. Additional information was
requested by and given to him during the inspection visit, which
appears not to have satisfied the Inspection Group that adequate
provision would be made. FIFA failed to explain why.
In summarising their findings on England's bid,
the FIFA Inspection Group rehearsed the strengths of England's
case and criticism of shortcomings they had identified. One new
criticism was raised:
"It has been brought to the Inspection Group's
attention that the England bidders' behaviour was not always in
compliance with the FIFA "Recommendations to National Associations
interested in bidding to organise the 2006 FIFA World Cup final
competition" and that they have been asked to adhere thereto
When the report was published a few days before
the vote, the FA, concerned in particular that this criticism
might be interpreted by some as implying irregularity or even
corruption on the part of England's bid, sought an explanation
from FIFA. Having consulted the Chairman of the FIFA Inspection
Group, FIFA's General Secretary categorically refuted any suggestion
of impropriety by England's bid. He alluded to two (trivial) incidentsthe
over-enthusiastic use of promotional banners at the South American
Congress and to England overrunning its allotted 15 minutes in
its presentation at that Congress.
Whatever may be the justice of such minor criticisms,
a similarly over-enthusiastic use of banners had previously been
exhibited by the South African and German bids at the African
Congress in Ghana and most bids overran their allotted presentation
time, others by far more than England, without rebuke, let alone
it counting in the final ranking of candidates.
(PAGES 24 AND
The FIFA Inspection Group's Final Unanimous
Ranking of the five bids was:
||Very well qualified|
|Second||South Africa||Very well qualified
The definition of "well qualified" was: this includes
bidders which complied with FIFA's requirements after being given
extra time. The bid has satisfied the majority of FIFA's requirements
and is an excellent bid.
The Inspection Group added that their assessment and ranking
reflected all the considerations covered in their report but gave
no weight to political issues.
The outcome of the Inspection Group's report was exceedingly
surprising and disappointing for England's bid, the Government
and the many people, including Parliamentarians, who had helped
the campaign, which objective observers agreed had been conducted
in a highly professional way. Indeed, despite the decision of
FIFA to award the 2006 World Cup venue to Germany, England's bid
was regarded by many as having been the best.
England's final ranking by the FIFA inspectors behind Germany
and South Africa on technical merit was not, in the FA's view,
supported by the facts. Certain criticisms made by the inspectors
were arguably justified, but in no way detracted from England's
ability to stage a successful tournament. Far too much weight
was given to procedural considerations and formwhether
information was in the form apparently required by FIFA in August
1999and too little to content, ie the material strength
of the competing bids. Similarly, too much weight was placed by
the inspectors on the promises to meet requirements and too little
on infrastructure already in place. Above all, to have rated,
on 9-10 August 1999the date on which the inspectors principal
assessment was madeEngland's excellent, modern stadia as
inferior to Germany's and no better than South Africa's, was a
travesty of justice recognised by those familiar with the current
state of football grounds in the three countries. Not only was
it damaging to England's chances of hosting the World Cup but
it was also unfair to all those who have worked so hard to make
England's football grounds the best in the world.
The FA's view of the Inspection Group's assessment, was shared
by many FIFA Executive Committee members. At the Committee's meeting
immediately before the vote, David Will of Scotland, in roundly
criticising the report and rebuking its authors, was joined by
several other members, even Africans with a candidate of their
own to support. Having had first-hand experience of England's
stadia and organising ability, they rejected this key aspect of
the report as biased and unsound.
As the written evidence submitted by the FA on 8 December
explains, the withdrawal of South American support of England
in the final month of the campaign and hooliganism at euro 2000
were largely responsible for spoiling England's prospects. However,
the release of the Inspection Report just a few days before the
vote, although given little credence by some FIFA members, might
possibly have swayed others, such as those Asians who had promised
or who were expected to back England, or given them respectable
cover for switching allegiance.
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