Mayor of London Boris Johnson marked the handover of the England 2018 World Cup bid to FIFA by taking receipt of London's official copy of the final bid book to help fly the flag for the national campaign.
Joining them were budding young football stars from all 15 of London's professional football clubs. To galvanize support for the bid, the clubs are working together to hold the first 'London United Community Tournament'.
The tournament will take place at Chelsea FC's training grounds on Saturday, June 5, just one week before the opening of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
Mayor Boris Johnson said: "It's fair to say we Londoners are bonkers about the beautiful game and I'm delighted we're a key part of England 2018's proposals. Our fine sporting venues would be the perfect place to host a legion of exciting international matches. I congratulate our professional clubs for harnessing the World Cup momentum and unifying their community programmes for aspiring young footballers. I want to make sure we use this positive energy to get everyone backing England's bid."
When London submitted its host city bid, it set out legacy proposals to help improve the lives of disadvantaged youngsters. The Mayor, who is chair of London United, the group co-ordinating support for the bid, hopes the 15 clubs working together on their community programmes will create a positive lasting legacy for the capital. The community tournament will see teenagers from each club's Kickz programmes competing in an all day 7-a-side competition on June 5th. Kickz programmes target some of the most disadvantaged communities to develop young people's confidence and skills through football.
London is a key host city for the England bid with proposed venues including Wembley, Arsenal Emirates, Tottenham Hostpur's new stadium and the Olympic stadium. FIFA officials are expected to visit London later in the year as part of an inspection tour of bidding countries. The winning host country for 2018 and 2022 will be announced in December.
The public are urged to register support for England's bid at www.england2018bid.com