English public 'deserve' to host football's biggest tournament
Former England striker Alan Shearer believes the English public 'deserve' to host the World Cup after he presented a petition with 1.7 million signatures backing England's 2018 World Cup bid.
With just a week left until the 2018 World Cup hosts are revealed by Fifa, Shearer believes that the country have a very strong bid which enjoys huge public support.
"Myself and [model] Kelly Brook sent on the petition to Wembley. There have been nearly 1.7 million signatures that [supermarket] Morrison's have collected since March, so I think that gives you the strength of the feeling that the people in our country want this World Cup," Shearer told Absolute Radio.
“I’m pretty confident, without being too arrogant. I think we’ve got a very, very good bid.
"It’s been such a long time since we had the last World Cup here, which was a huge success, obviously.
"We’ve had Euro ’96 since then, and that was very successful as well, and I think the people deserve it.
"We’ve certainly got the stadiums, we’ve got the transport system, I believe we have a very good bid.”
It has been reported that the broadcast of a BBC Panorama investigation into Fifa just days before the vote takes place could harm England's chances. However Shearer is praying that the programme does no lasting damage to the country's bid.
“Well I certainly hope not. Look, if there’s been any wrong-doing then it deserves to be investigated, but having said that, I don’t think that should take anything away from our bid," he said.
"As I said, there’s been a lot of people who have worked really, really hard to get into this position.
"We’ve got a great league here, which is watched by thousands and thousands of people every single week and during the week, so put all that together and we’re pretty confident.”
Fifa will announce the hosts of the 2018 World Cup on December 2, with England competing against Russia and joint bids from Spain/Portugal and Holland/Belgium.
Listen to Stoke vs Man City this Saturday 27th November on Absolute Radio extra - on DAB Digital Radio, 1215AM and online in the UK from 1.30pm, where Shearer's interview will be aired. For more go to www.absoluteradio.co.uk/extra