Free Bikes Wheeled In to Drive Bid

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All the countries vying for the 2018 tournament were in Kuala Lumpa today (Wednesday) to woo important Asian delegates on the international football agency FIFA voting committee, with England pledging a spectacular four weeks of football and  Belgium and the Netherlands promising an environmentally friendly one.

FIFA will make an announcement on the winning bids for both the 2018 and 2022 competions next Thursday (December 2).

The joint-bid team from Belgium-Netherlands, which is led by Dutch football star and coach Ruud Gullit made a presentation to the AFC’s executive committee for 30 minutes, the same time as the other delegations.

Michael van Praag, president of the Dutch Football Association, said if the Netherlands and Belgium win the bid, two million bikes will be made available for free to enable fans to travel easily to and from the stadiums on game days.

“Both of our countries are small in size so the distances between the hosting cities is also short. This will help us in reducing the (carbon) footprint,” he said.

In Belgium, matches will be played at seven venues; Antwerp, Bruges, Charleroi, Genk, Ghent, Liège and at the new national stadium to be built in Brussels.