Campaigns: Judge and Jury - Pace quickens as England’s World Cup bid runneth into overtime,

It’s going to take some deft manoeuvring if England is win the bid to host the 2006 World Cup, says Dick Newby, director of Matrix

It’s going to take some deft manoeuvring if England is win the bid

to host the 2006 World Cup, says Dick Newby, director of Matrix

’Lions led by donkeys’ was one German Colonel’s damning comment on the

British Army during the First World War.

Today it seems an apt response to the English FA’s bid to host the 2006

World Cup - announced after Euro 96.

Imagine their surprise when, a couple of weeks ago, the FA got a fax

from UEFA (the European Football Association) saying that Germany

already had the European endorsement. ’Foul’ cried the FA.

Meetings were hurriedly organised and the German general secretary of

UEFA was summoned to London. Back-pedalling furiously, UEFA admitted

that no final decision had been taken and England could submit a formal

bid, to be considered alongside the German one. A tactical victory for

the FA leaving England to fight another day. But can it win the war?

England’s UEFA representative is 82-year-old Sir Bert Millichip,

probably not the man to take the FA bid through to 2006. So who are his


One key player is David Davies, the FA’s communications supremo and a

plausible front man. But winning a World Cup bid needs a deft political

touch and strong organisational skills.

Enter Alec McGivan, appointed chief executive of the bid after being

communications director of Euro 96. McGivan was the SDP’s by-election

organiser of the 1980s. The skills honed there must now be used on an

international scale. FIFA delegates from Africa and South America need

to be persuaded to give up their own ambitions - for 2006 at least - and

support England, and UEFA will have to be persuaded to reverse its

preference for Germany.

A winning bid can’t simply be based on modern stadia and crowd


England’s bid should be based on using football to promote racial

equality and should build on the FA’s existing ’kicking racism out of

football’ campaign. It should base its appeal squarely on an anti-racism

platform and get all clubs to take specific initiatives next season.

The next step is to mobilise England’s football enthusiasts with

communications skills in an international promotional and lobbying

operation. The FA should avoid a single international PR company. It

needs the best PR support in Cyprus and Cameroon, Colombia and


No single company can provide this. The FA needs all the support it can

get. Donkeys need not apply

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