While FIFA inspectors began their visit to England on Monday, the big news on the World Cup bidding front came thousands of miles away in Singapore, where FIFA President Sepp Blattersaid England would be the easy choice.
That could be viewed as good or bad news for the English bid for the 2018 World Cup, under threat from the Russian bid growing in strength.
"The easiest way to organize the World Cup is to go to England," said Blatter. "Everything is there – fans, stadiums, infrastructure – it's easy."
But "easy" may not be the direction FIFA will go as Blatter added that Russia is a formidable rival. "You cannot deny Russia if they bid for something," he said. "They are more than a country. They are a big continent, a big power."