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Dutch-Belgian bid makes final pitch

The Netherlands and Belgium have made their final pitch to FIFA executives in their bid to host the 2018 World Cup.

A small group of fans gathered in Zurich as bid chief executive officer Harry Been and president Ruud Gullit made their final presentation to the FIFA executive committee.

The Dutch-Belgian bid is considered an outsider to win the hosting rights for 2018, with Spain-Portugal, England and Russia all ahead of it in the favourites stakes.

But Gullit was confident their bid was in with a chance.

“We are an outsider of course, we know. We are two small countries. But we are a strong outsider and we feel confident that we have a possibility of winning,” Gullit told Reuters.

“Both countries have been doing already very well in the World Cups in the past. Holland is in the top-10 world ranking and we are surrounded with countries that already hosted the World Cup once. And we never had it. Holland and Belgium are (among the) the founders of the FIFA.”

“This could be an excellent moment for FIFA to say, ‘Hey look, you know we give something back to you’.”

“Of course the talents that we have around in these two countries, they play at the best clubs around Europe.”

“So therefore this is the possibility to show people: OK, come to Holland and Belgium and see what we do.”

Tue 30 November, 2010
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