x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Beckenbauer believes England is ready to host World Cup

The former West Germany international backs England as a ready-made host for the 2018 World Cup.

The Fifa committee member Franz Beckenbauer has tentatively backed England's World Cup bid, claiming the country could stage football's showpiece event "tomorrow". Beckenbauer, a World Cup winner as player and manager for West Germany, sits on the board that will decide who will host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. The 63-year-old was not explicit in his wish for England to stage the tournament, but conceded he would be pushing for the tournament to be staged in Europe with South Africa and Brazil the hosts for the events in 2010 and 2014 respectively. "As a Uefa member, I would like to see it in Europe but it is an open race," he told Australia's Sun-Herald newspaper. "England could host it tomorrow because they have the stadiums, the infrastructure, the fans, everything. "But there are a lot of other different countries bidding. Let's wait and see." Fifa's 24-man executive committee will vote on the hosts for both the 2018 and 2022 tournaments in December next year. Spain and Russia are England's main European rivals in Europe, while the USA and Australia are also bidding.

*PA Sport