18 December 2009
Brown makes pledge for special UK immigration rules for FIFA bid
If England wins the right to host the 2018 World Cup the UK Government will suspend normal immigration controls and exempt FIFA from UK takes, it has been revealed.
The UK immigration measures are part of a series of guarantees demanded by FIFA and signed off on Tuesday by the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, and ministers, The Daily Telegraph reported.
The guarantee document commits the Government to FIFA’s demands, and requires the Government to suspend normal border controls for all FIFA members, staff, subsidiaries, partners and sponsors for the duration of the World Cup.
The guarantee raises the possibility that individuals that would usually be prohibited from entering the UK or obtaining a UK visa, for diplomatic or legal reasons, would be able to enter the country by travelling under FIFA.
A similar circumstance occurred in Germany in 2006 when Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad considered attending the tournament.
Other guarantees include the Government providing open-ended security, commitments on intellectual property, legal issues, banking and foreign exchange, telecommunications and protection of commercial rights.
All bidding nations are required to sign the guarantees, but the scale of the commitments required are illustrative of the effort FIFA demands from countries to secure the tournament.
The Government’s key pledges are:
Unrestricted entry UK visa for all FIFA-approved individuals;
Unconditional UK Work Permit for all FIFA-approved staff;
Total tax exemption for FIFA companies, members, staff and affiliates;
Unlimited import and export of currency and foreign exchange;
Full protection of FIFA intellectual property and commercial rights;
Telecoms and IT to the highest standard; AND
Legal rights and indemnity for FIFA against conflicts arising from tournament.
The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their UK Visa applications at the British Embassy.