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Sporting Events

Volume 448: debated on Tuesday 4 July 2006

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I are backing Glasgow’s excellent bid to bring the 2014 Commonwealth games to the city. I recently hosted a reception with the Scottish Executive Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport to encourage support and raise awareness. Scotland’s strategy for attracting, organising and delivering major events is, of course, the responsibility of Scottish Executive Ministers.

I thank the Minister for that response. I also support the Commonwealth games bid, but I also welcome the Government’s intention to host the 2018 World cup. At the moment, the Chancellor seems to be going out of the way to downplay his Scottishness, and when making the World cup announcement, he seemed specifically to exclude Scotland from co-hosting the bid, yet Scotland has some excellent stadiums and some great fans. Has the Minister had any discussions with the Chancellor to make the case for a joint bid between both England and Scotland for the 2018 World cup?

I welcome the hon. Gentleman’s support for Glasgow’s bid. It will be a great boost not just to the city but to the whole of Scotland, bringing in many additional tourists and, of course, raising the profile of sport, and it will also allow those games to take place in other locations in Scotland—such as the excellent proposal to hold the sailing competitions in Inverclyde.

On the World cup bid for 2018, the hon. Gentleman is quite right: the Government launched a study last year into the feasibility of holding the FIFA World cup in England in 2018. The study is being conducted jointly by the Treasury and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and we await its outcome.

Does the Minister recognise that a successful Commonwealth games bid by Glasgow will also bring long-term benefits to housing and regeneration in Dalmarnock in my constituency—the best site for the athletes’ village—and, overall, bring benefits to Scotland?

My hon. Friend is entirely correct. Of course the most important part of the games is not so much the event itself—although, of course, that will be the centrepiece—but the legacy of sport infrastructure, plus new community infrastructure, that will remain in some of the most deprived parts of Glasgow. So, taken as a whole, this is very exciting prospect for Scotland, to which I am sure every hon. Member will give their support.