World Cup Coming to Town?
Tuesday, 23rd Mar 2010 06:00
Town could play host to one of the teams at the World Cup in 2018 or 2022 if England are successful in their bid to host either tournament. Chief executive Simon Clegg has signed FIFA documentation putting the club’s facilities forward for consideration as an official training centre.
In December, Clegg revealed to TWTD that Town, who decided against putting Portman Road forward as a potential match venue, could host a national team at a future World Cup and might also fulfil the same role for Brazil’s U23 football team at the 2012 Olympic games.
Clegg says the Blues hosting one of the 32 nations wouldn’t just be advantageous to the club but to the town as a whole: “While there would be many benefits to the club if the World Cup comes to Ipswich, there would be far greater implications for the local community.
“Having spent seven years trying to convince a sceptical Cabinet and the then-Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, on the merits of supporting a pipe dream of running London for the 2012 Olympic Games, I am well versed in all the arrangements relating to the benefits of staging major events. While the scale of the benefits are somewhat different, the principles are the same.
“In the event of our bid being successful, Ipswich would expect to host not only the players from a particular national team and their support staff, but also the huge travelling army of media and focus that follow them.
“All these people would require accommodation and meals in our local community from 10 days before the start of the competition until three days after their final training session.
“I know from my own experience of basing Team GB on Australia’s Gold Coast in the build up to the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney just what an economic drive this can be for the local economy.
“The benefit is not just restricted to the few weeks immediately before and during the World Cup. If we are successful it will create the most wonderful promotional and marketing platform for Ipswich and Suffolk to drive long term benefit and a real legacy.
“So I’d encourage everyone in Ipswich whether they are a Town fan or not to get behind England’s World Cup bid. This is a great opportunity not only for English football but now for Ipswich as well.”
Town midfielder Carlos Edwards is amongst 50 ambassadors for England’s bid to stage the World Cup.
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