December 7 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
World class football could grace the hallowed turf of Portman Road as Ipswich is nominated a potential host for the 2017 Under-20 World Cup.
The town is expected to form part of Britain’s bid to stage FIFA’s under-20 tournament in four years time.
The FA is understood to be putting together the bid and has earmarked the home of Ipswich Town as a possible base for the event.
Ipswich Borough Council, who would co-ordinate the town’s bid, today revealed they are right behind the idea.
Borough leader David Ellesmere said: “The Borough Council is right behind this campaign – and I can’t imagine anyone in the town which revered Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson failing to join us.
“Portman Road is one of the finest grounds in the country and Ipswich is the major trophy-winning club in the region.
“As the only club to provide England with two managers, it would be a question of football coming home.”
He said the borough has replied to the FA to formally register the town’s interest in helping to host the sporting spectacle.
Sources close to Ipswich Town said the club is likely to be very interested in the proposal at this early stage.
The club would be central to the bid, and The Star understands that contact has been made with bosses at the highest level.
But no firm decisions have been made by the club as the negotiations are in such early stages.
A spokesman for the club said they are not in a position to provide an official comment at this stage.
While the tournament would take place during Ipswich Town’s close season it would limit the time ground staff had to refresh the pitch ahead of the 2017/18 campaign.
The organisers are looking to present eight candidate host towns and cities to FIFA, with six or seven expected to be granted host status if England is selected.
Each host town or city would require a stadium to accommodate between 10,000 and 40,000 football fans and four training grounds for the four national sides in each pool.
In addition the FA requires towns to have suitable accommodation and adequate office space for the organisers.
Those putting together England’s bid are understood to be keen to nominate host towns and cities known for their passion for football.
The FA must make its bid to host the tournament by November.