Portsmouth have decided not to enter themselves in the race to become a host city for England’s much maligned 2018 World Cup bid.
With the deadline for city’s to put themselves forward looming closer, Portsmouth City Council refused to provide financial guarantees after fearing the bid was too much of a risk. 24 councillors voted against the bid with only 13 willing to stump up the £24 million needed.
The withdrawel comes after Portsmouth had planned to redevelop Fratton Park in time for the 2018 tournament if England won the bid. Nevertheless, the city will again have to review their stadium plans on the same day that club manager Paul Hart was sacked from his job.
A spokesman for the England bid said: “Along with the other cities involved, Portsmouth had shown great enthusiasm for the project and the council’s decision not to approve their application at this stage is a surprising and sad outcome. The host city process still has an extremely strong candidate list and we are confident we have an array of cities, stadiums and general facilities that will support an exceptional bid to FIFA.”
The 15 cities expected to submit applications to become a host venue are Birmingham, Bristol, Derby, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Newcastle-Gateshead, Nottingham, Plymouth, Sheffield and Sunderland.
Between 12 and 18 stadiums from around ten of the cities will then be chosen to form a part of England’s bid in an announcement on the 16th December.