Official airline for the England 2018 Bid announced
Mon 26th Apr 2010 | Football Sponsorship
British Airways has added its support to England's World Cup Bid by becoming the official airline of England 2018.
The airline partnered with football hero and England 2018 ambassador Gary Lineker OBE to rally the nation to back the bid. Gary unveiled the British Airways aircraft that will fly the England 2018 bid book to Zurich, home of FIFA. The Airbus A319 aircraft will sport a giant black and white football on its nose. The bid book represents England's formal proposal to FIFA and sets out the country's vision for hosting the World Cup.
He said: "I'm delighted to kick off British Airways' campaign to back the bid. To host the World Cup in 2018 would be a privilege and a great boost for English football. We have a 100 per cent record in home World Cups, and it would be wonderful to keep up that performance."
Looking ahead to England's hopes for the World Cup in 2018, Gary added: "The future is looking very bright for English football. The current under-21 squad boasts seven first team regulars from the Premier League already. That crop of players will be looking to step up over the next four years to cement their places come 2018.
"Jack Wilshere is one of these - he has impressed for Arsenal in the Premier League and is a gifted footballer already touted as a future star. Likewise, Birmingham City goalkeeper Joe Hart who will be 30 years old in 2018 will be in his prime as a goalkeeper and likely to be the England number one choice.
"Only time will tell who will cut it at the top level, but if they keep performing as they are now, Chelsea's Daniel Strurridge and Aston Villa's Nathan Delfouneso are two of our most promising talents up front. I also wouldn't be surprised to see some of our current players in the squad – Wayne Rooney, James Milner and Theo Walcott should still be strong contenders."
British Airways launches its campaign by flying the England 2018 team to FIFA's headquarters on May 13, to officially hand over the bid book to President Sepp Blatter. Throughout the campaign the airline will fly the England 2018 team around the globe to meet with key figures in world football as they seek to earn the right to stage the tournament in England. The campaign will reach its climax in December when British Airways flies the England 2018 team into Zurich for the final presentation to FIFA.
Willie Walsh, British Airways CEO, said: "It's our goal to support the bid campaign to bring the World Cup to England in 2018. We have a world-class airport in Heathrow Terminal 5, and the infrastructure for transport, accommodation, security and stadiums to stage a global event in this country. We look forward to playing our part in backing the bid."
There will also be an opportunity for British Airways customers to back the bid by providing their messages of support in Terminal 5 in the coming weeks. These will be reproduced on the livery of the plane taking the England 2018 bid to FIFA's headquarters in December.
Andy Anson, England 2018 bid Chief Executive, said: "We are delighted to have British Airways on board. They were integral to the London 2012 Games bid and will provide us with valuable support for the remainder of the campaign.
"We are committed to travelling around the world and meeting with influential figures in the game to discuss the ways in which England could stage a tournament that would be good for global football. British Airways' extensive worldwide network will help us do that and we look forward to working with them."
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