An exciting day for the city of Leeds as it was announced they were successful in their bid to become a 2018 World Cup host city, should England’s bid be successful.

The 2018 bid went a little off the rails for England recently, but after David Beckham’s appearence it now seems to be well on track. Not since 1966 have England hosted the World Cup, while sworn enemies Germany have hosted the prestigious competition twice in that time. For me, football coming home is long overdue.

Map of selected host cities

Map of selected host cities

The map above shows all the selected host cities and whilst few will be surprised by the inclusion of Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool, London and perhaps Leeds, the selection commitee threw a few shocks into the announcement with Plymouth and Bristol. Sheffield and Sunderland being picked as well as Leeds and Newcastle may also have surprised a few.

What’s really impressed me about the decision is that cities who have teams outside the Premiership, such as Sheffield, Leeds, Plymouth, Bristol and Milton Keynes have been selected. For once, the FA have made a decision that will not only benefit the powers that be in football, but the wider footballing community too.

Of course, the only thing we, as Leeds United fans are really interested in at the moment is the plans for Elland Road. Architects had already sketched out some ideas for what an extended stadium could look like should Leeds be successful, with both the North and West stands becoming two tiers to bring the maximum capacity upto 51,240.

Whilst some will wonder why we need such an enormous stadium after the World Cup, I think it shows a great amount of ambition from the current board and the city in general. I don’t often agree with anything Ken Bates does at Leeds United, but this kind of planning for an event nine years in the future shows which direction the club are aiming to go.

If the 2018 bid is successful, then I have no doubts the stadium will be used to capacity once Leeds return to the top flight. I also think an expansion and redevelopment of Elland Road would be important in ensuring we can still compete with the big boys once we get back to the Premier League.

Click to 'back the bid!'

Congratulations to the Back The Bid Leeds team for their efforts. The stars of the past that turned out to support the campaign have also played their part and it’s a great day for everyone involved as well as Leeds United fans across the world and residents of the city itself. Attention will now turn to the 2018 Back The Bid campaign which has until December 2010 to argue our case.

Show your support now by backing the bid.