§ Kate Hoey
[holding answer 6 December 1999]: The Government are providing the fullest diplomatic and promotional support for the Football Association's bid to stage the 2006 World Cup. For example, my hon. Friend the Member for West Ham (Mr. Banks), in his capacity as the Government's Special Envoy on 2006, was in New Zealand, Thailand and Korea recently with a Football Association delegation to promote the bid. We will continue to do so between now and the decision by the FIFA Executive Committee next July. It is an excellent bid.
In late October, my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister, the Home Secretary, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury, my hon. Friend the Member for West Ham, and myself, met a FIFA Inspection Group. The FIFA delegates, who visited England to inspect the facilities, described England's bid and its stadiums as "outstanding".