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MK gets the nod for 2018 bid

MILTON KEYNES Dons chairman Pete Winkelman couldn’t hide his delight after his club’s home was selected as one of the candidate host stadiums for England’s 2018 World Cup bid.

Stadium:MK was the surprise selection after 2018 bid chiefs confirmed the 12 cities that will front England’s campaign. Plymouth was also given the nod, but Derby, Leicester and Hull were the cities to miss out.

“It doesn’t surprise me,” Winkelman said. “We’ve had complete political unity in the city and everyone from the police to the NHS have been backing the bid. That is what made our bid stand out.

“To be in amongst a host of fantastic footballing cities around the country is so exciting for us and we can’t wait to support the whole bid. It will be great for the country if we can pull this off for 2018.”

Of the 15 stadiums proposed, three are in London with Wembley, the Emirates Stadium and either New White Hart Lane or the Olympic Stadium all in the running.

England 2018 deputy chairman Lord Malwhinney said: “England’s fortunate to have so many good stadia and I would like to congratulate all of the applicant host cities for the seven months of hard work they have put in. We have chosen cities which present the lowest possible risk to Fifa and it’s Fifa who will make the final decision.

“There will also be a lot of disappointed fans around the country I understand that – if I was a fan of theirs I’d be just as disappointed.”