ZURICH - Airports and motorways featured
more prominently than footballers as Spain and Portugal's
joint-bid used a long final presentation to reassure FIFA's
executive committee of its readiness to host the 2018 World Cup.
Although the presentations are limited to 30 minutes, the
Spain/Portugal submission clocked in at over 40 minutes, mainly
due to an impassioned speech by Angel Maria Villar, the Iberian
bid president and a member of FIFA's executive committee.
"FIFA is clean, FIFA does things honestly, FIFA works for
football and the world," he said to applause ahead of the vote
later on Thursday. "All my colleagues present are honest,
hard-working and work for football. Your are honest workers."
"The process is clean, whatever they say."
The focus on facilities was a stark contrast to the lively
Belgium/Netherlands presentation which preceded it. England and
Russia are the other bidders for the tournament and were due to
follow the Spain/Portugal presentation in that order.
The presentation began with speeches by the countries'
respective Prime Ministers, Jose Socrates of Portugal and Jose
Luis Rodriguez Zapatero of Spain. It included three short films.
They were broadly the same and featured numerous shots of
trains, airports and roads, but made little reference to football.
Unlike the other bids, the presentation included no former
or current players.
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