HC Deb 28 April 1999 vol 330 c140W
Mr. Spring

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions he has had with FIFA about the suitability of English stadiums for the World Cup 2006 bid. [81804]

Mr. Banks

None. FIFA has well-established criteria for World Cup host venues.

As the hon. Member may be aware, the Football Association is required to nominate between eight and 12 stadiums as host venues in the bid document, which it will be submitting to FIFA in July. These stadiums will be subject to inspection by a FIFA Inspection Committee at the end of this year.

I understand that, following a detailed survey of potential venues, the Football Association has identified 15 stadiums which fulfil the FIFA criteria for World Cup venues and a further five that have the potential to be redeveloped in the run-up to the staging of the 2006 World Cup to meet the criteria.

The FA are, therefore, well placed to meet FIFA's stadium requirements. This bears testimony to the £3565 million which football clubs in this country have spent on the redevelopment of their grounds over the past ten years, helped by £160 million from the Football Trust as a result of the reduction in Pool Betting Duty concession.