Manchester’s bid to be a host city for the World Cup in 2018 is gathering momentum with support flooding in from around the world.
As officials from the Football Association visit the city to assess its suitability as a World Cup destination, backing has come from as far away as Australia, Nigeria and even East Timor.
People have been invited to sign a pledge on www.manchesterworldsport.com to register their support for the city's bid and more than 1000 pledges have been logged in the first week alone.
As well as international fans championing Manchester, fans of teams such as Liverpool, Leeds, Arsenal and Chelsea have also signed up, firmly setting local football rivalries aside.
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council said: "The response to Manchester's bid has been fantastic, not only here in the city but around the country and the rest of the world. Manchester is synonymous with world-class football and to see world cup games being played here would be something truly special. We certainly have the infrastructure to make it a success and have a tremendous track record of hosting world class sporting events. Public support has so far been phenomenal and I'd say to anyone, if you've not made your pledge yet please do so as it could make all the difference."
Manchester's ambitious bid is unusual compared to most cities submissions because the city has two world-class stadiums to attract qualifiers, play offs and quarter-finals as well as the possibility of a semi final on Manchester soil.
Former England and Manchester United Captain, Bryan Robson MBE and former Manchester City player and England international Mike Sumerbee have already been vocal in their support for the bid having strong sporting links with the city.
Bryan Robson said: "We have some of the most passionate and knowledgeable fans anywhere in the world and you would struggle to find a more welcoming city for any supporter from any country. It's impossible to think of an English World Cup without games in one of the most famous footballing cities in the world."
England is bidding to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cup and 15 cities, including Manchester, are vying for the prize of hosting games if the nation is successful.
Members of the Football Association were today visiting both Old Trafford and the City of Manchester Stadium to evaluate the benefits of hosting World Cup matches here and the city and its fans will wait with baited breath until a decision is made in December.
Manchester's bid is being supported by Manchester City Council, Salford City Council, Trafford Borough Council, Marketing Manchester, GMPTE and Manchester Airport.
To register your pledge for Manchester visit www.manchesterworldsport.com