‘Slim to zero’ chance of World Cup refund

Back the Bid
Back the Bid

A ROW has erupted over a possible refund of the £250,000 spent by Sheffield on England’s doomed 2018 World Cup bid.

Lib Dem councillors called on the FA to recover those costs from FIFA - but are now accusing the new Labour council of failing to act.

Labour has hit back saying no other English city is pursuing a refund as the chances of success are ‘slim to zero’.

Lib Dem leader Coun Shaffaq Mohammed said he had formally requested the council take up the issue as taxpayers’ money had been spent.

Sheffield paid a share of £250,000 into the total cost of the bid after being appointed as one of the official host cities.

The city would have benefited from millions of pounds if England had won its bid to host the World Cup, but the tournament was awarded to Russia.

Coun Mohammed said: “The leader of the council made a promise to stand up for Sheffield, but her decision to block this Lib Dem call for action shows she has failed.

“Given the allegations of corruption and subsequent resignations at FIFA, I believe Sheffielders have a right to get their money back.

“Nobody believes that convincing the FA to try and recover their costs from FIFA would have been easy. However it’s disappointing Labour are willing to give up meekly on £250,000 of taxpayers’ money.”

Council leader Julie Dore said the decision not to pursue a refund had been taken after careful consideration.

“This follows advice from the council’s chief executive and consultation with all other UK bidding cities, none of whom are planning to pursue recovery of costs from FIFA.

“The chance of being successful is slim to zero and the cost involved could be high.”