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Nicole Carroll: A one woman mission to make a name in football

World Cup finals? Not at embaressing Wembley

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It’s been a huge week for the FA. Earlier in the week they handed over their proposal to hold a World Cup tournament in England, whilst yesterday, their flagpiece stadium Wembley held the FA Cup final between Portsmouth and Chelsea.

Whilst the result of the match seemed fairly subdued, with Chelsea just scoring the one goal, the predictable comments came following the match. The comments weren’t about the match however, rather, the sorry state of the pitch.

John Terry was quite right to criticise the sorry state of Wembley again, stating to Radio 5 live ”

“It was not good enough for a Wembley pitch. It ruined the final and was the worst pitch I have played on all year. The FA have to decide if this is a football pitch or an events stadium.”

As much as it pains me to say it, Terry has obviously hit the nail on the head. The national stadium is nothing short of disgraceful. It is almost laughable the amount of times the pitch has been relayed, yet there seems to be no end in sight for the pitch problems, as the FA insist on whoring out Wembley to anyone who wants to promote an event.

Wembley stadium is the stadium of the national football team. It is not the home for Muse to play a gig, or for American footballers to cut up the pitch. The FA knew it had to make money off Wembley, but using it for other events to gain revenue, whilst damaging it’s footballing reputation is not the way forward. It is a footballing stadium, and we should be tenderly nuturing the pitch, singing love songs to the turf, in a bid to make it the premier playing surface in the country to play on. At the moment, every match that is played there ends with negative comments about the pitch – how can anyone look forward to the event that is playing at Wembley, when they know the playing surface is going to appalling? Quite simply, with a national stadium setting such a poor example, it would be frankly embaressing to hold a World Cup final in England.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have a World Cup in England. The atmosphere would be electric, and it would truly involve everyone in this country by some small part. Earlier in the season I got involved with Birmingham’s bid to become a city involved in any English based World Cup, and the thought of being able to go to Birmingham to watch some of the World’s greatest stars play practically on my doorstep is something that I can’t sniff at. Writing a few articles backing the bid, I got added onto a mailing list, and received a map of the Midlands, which showed where countries could base in the Midlands, and how all the Midlands clubs would be involved during a World Cup. One of the potential team hotels was potentially just ten miles down the road from me – that’s how close people will be to these stars.

It’s ok writing up maps though, and dreaming of a final played in our capital city. It is merely pipe dream however, if we think we can expect a bid to win when we can’t even get the fundamentals right. Maybe I’ll be completely shown up when the selection decision comes through as England, but I don’t think we’ll get it.

As a country, we need to prove we can provide transport, accomodation, decent stadiums and infrastructure to support a tournament as big as the World Cup. Even if we can prove all these aspects, details such as not being able to upkeep a piece of grass will massively put doubt on whether we’d be able to do a World Cup justice.

For a nation of people who are known as fanatical football fans, its simply a travesty if we are found just not good enough to hold a tournament. If we lose out to a better country, then so be it – but, if we lose out on having a World Cup due to the FA’s inability to keep Wembley as a footballing stadium only, then that is simply a slap in the face for all English football fans.

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Written by Nicole Carroll

May 16, 2010 at 5:29 pm

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