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Niall Quinn urges caution over Clegg's 'Unbeatable' statement

Wed 25th Aug 2010 | Club & Country Competitions

Sunderland Association Football Club chairman Niall Quinn has criticised deputy prime minister Nick Clegg for claiming England's 2018 World Cup bid is "unbeatable".

The criticism came after the former Republic of Ireland international welcomed the FIFA inspectors to a sun-bathed Stadium of Light on Wednesday morning.

They were shown around the stadium by Quinn and fellow bid team members Steve Cram and Sunderland Council leader Paul Watson before heading off to be greated by Peter Beardsley at Newcastle's St James' Park.

After taking part in a penalty shoot-out with the FIFA delegates, Quinn later admitted he was no closer to knowing how the bid was going, but was more cautious than Clegg.

Quinn said: "The passion for it hopefully will be paramount in their minds when they sit down and write their reports and they say, 'Hey, do you know something, those people up in the north-east, they wanted this so badly, they prepared and they ticked the right boxes'.

"Have we done that? I can't possibly say. I certainly wouldn't be as confident as the deputy prime minister - that's not the way we should be thinking.

"There will be more work to be done between now and the first week in December."

Former middle-distance star Cram, who represented Great Britain with such distinction at the Olympic Games and the World Athletics Championships, was cautiously optimistic too that the people of his native north-east could help sway the decision.

He said: "We hope we can convince them that the World Cup would come here and the people would go away thinking, 'That was a great World Cup'. That's what you are trying to deliver.

"The stadia are very important, but it is what happens inside that counts and the atmosphere that's created. That's what really changes it."




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