Wimbledon fortnight worries FIFA

Published Nov. 20, 2010 11:21 a.m. ET

An inspection report on England's 2018 World Cup bid has raised the issue of Wimbledon tennis having an impact on the tournament.

The tennis tournament normally takes place entirely during the World Cup with the finals the weekend before the football final.

The report states: "It is a FIFA requirement that no other major sporting event is hosted in a host city during the event period and the fact that the Wimbledon tennis championships take place in London during late June/early July could have an impact on the public attention given to the FIFA World Cup."

The issue was discussed with England 2018 officials on the inspection visit in August and it is believed that the view was it would not pose a major problem, and that Wimbledon would go ahead as planned.

Three Springboks rugby matches were played in South Africa during the World Cup this year, but only one was played in a host city, in Cape Town on the second day of the tournament.

England's rivals Russia and Spain/Portugal have also had warnings about possible competing events.

The report states: "Russia national public holiday, Russia Day, take place on June 12. This celebration is often marked by mass public events and could have an impact on the start of the tournament."


It adds: "Portugal's national day on June 10 could have an impact on tournament operations."

Meanwhile, FIFA's president Sepp Blatter believes England's bid will not be damaged by the fall-out of the Sunday Times investigation.

Six FIFA officials have received bans following the corruption scandal brought to light by the investigation.

Blatter insisted that the 'entrapment' was "not fair" but said that should not - as is feared by England 2018 - rebound on their bid.

He said: "Why should this have an influence on the English bid? Human beings taking decisions don't look so much at the documents in front of them so I don't think they take into consideration what has been published or not.

"That's my opinion."