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Merseyside faces World Cup woe

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The possibility of hosting a World Cup in England without a match in Liverpool came into sharp focus as 15 cities put forward their cases to stage games if the 2018 bid succeeds.

Neither Anfield or Goodison Park would fit FIFA criteria for the tournament, according to 2018 vice-president John Barnes, with Everton's move to Kirkby rejected by the Government and Liverpool's Stanley Park plans hit by a number of delays.

Barnes, the former Liverpool player, said: "They need a new stadium, we always knew that. When the bid was submitted it was on the grounds of new grounds being in place, not Anfield hosting the World Cup in nine years' time."

He added: "I'm sure that would have been the case anyway because neither Anfield or Goodison would fit the criteria for hosting a World Cup. They would have had to have built a new stadium anyway."

However, Liverpool are confident they will secure funds for a new stadium soon and be part of England's World Cup bid, according to 2018 chief executive Andy Anson.

He said: "Liverpool have a very convincing bid, it's 2009 now and 2018 we're talking about.

"They are very optimistic that the funding for their new stadium is around the corner.

"The fallback option is Anfield. They would clearly have to make improvements in the next nine years but it is there as an iconic stadium as part of their bid book. We'll be evaluating their bid in that light."

Anson suggested that a viable solution would be needed in nine months, adding: "It's when the inspectors come over by the end of August that we must have a solution that everyone buys into and that is 100% credible."

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Everton
Liverpool

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