PtG Article 23.02.2011

UK government willing to pass “special laws” in order to get 2018 World Cup

A freedom of information request from Bloomberg news, made during the 2018 World Cup bidding process, revealed that the British government was willing to pass “special laws” to meet FIFA demands.

A list of eight government guarantees has been published on UK Treasury’s website. Among the guarantees are FIFA’s demands for tax exemptions, visa waivers and new laws to combat “ambush marketing”.

According to Bloomberg the guarantees would have cost the UK about 250 million £, and Bloomberg also cites FIFA justifying the guarantees by saying  that they: “underline the commitment of the host country in staging the tournament”.

Bloomberg cites the then-U.K Prime Minister who wrote to FIFA President Sepp Blatter saying that “all government guarantees are legally and constitutionally valid and enforceable against the United Kingdom”.

The “special laws” following the eight guarantees would have necessitated the UK government enacting them for about 60 days before and after the tournament.

The “special laws” never came into force as the right to host the 2018 World Cup was won by Russia.

The documents listing the special laws and guarantees can be seen here.