London ‘to lose £1b’ if Eng­land’s ’18 WC bid fails

The Pak Banker - - International3 -

LONDON: London could lose out on £1bn in rev­enue if Eng­land fails in its bid to host the 2018 World Cup, the mayor's pol­icy ad­viser Neale Cole­man has said.

Mr Cole­man said the cap­i­tal would be a key ben­e­fi­ciary in a suc­cess­ful bid as it would host cru­cial games dur­ing the tour­na­ment.

He is fly­ing to Zurich on Wed­nes­day with Mayor Boris John­son ahead of the bid an­nounce­ment by FIFA on Thurs­day. Mr Cole­man said the bid de­ci­sion was "still too close to call".

He said: "Econ­o­mists who worked on Eng­land's 2018 bid have cal­cu­lated a to­tal eco­nomic ben­e­fit to the coun­try of more than £3bn through in­creased tourism and in­vest­ment. "A third of that would di­rectly be felt in London - it would have a pos­i­tive eco­nomic im­pact." Mr Cole­man, who is part of London United, the cap­i­tal's el­e­ment of the na­tional bid, said the city's main sta­dium of­fer would be Wem­b­ley which would host the open­ing cer­e­mony, the first match and the fi­nal. Three other London sta­di­ums are in the bid: Arse­nal's Emi­rates sta­dium, the Olympic Sta­dium at Strat­ford and a new sta­dium at White Hart Lane, should the plan by Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur go ahead. -Ap

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