Editorial: Creases can be ironed easily

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Success is when preparation meets opportunity.

There is no doubt, having Fifa officials in town this week is one heck of an opportunity. Are we prepared?

A delegation from the international governing body of football landed on Wednesday as part of Whangarei's bid to host games in the 2015 Fifa Under 20 Football World Cup.

If Whangarei was successful, it could bring in $3.5 million, while also opening up the city to international exposure.

As one of nine cities bidding to host games in the event, Fifa arrived here with a shopping list.

They checked out Toll Stadium, training facilities, accommodation and infrastructure.

So, can we hold our corner here in the north as we line up against Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Napier, Nelson, New Plymouth, and Wellington?

We lack vital components.

We don't have enough changing facilities to host two games in one day and we are in dire need of a top class hotel.

Deputy Lord Mayor, Phil Halse, says these major creases will be ironed out if we are successful in our bid. Whangarei District Council is in talks with developers to build a 120-room, four-star hotel in Dent St.

It is encouraging to hear that our success and packed Toll Stadium stands during the Rugby World Cup games will stand us in good stead, as well as our enthusiasm.

However, the ball is literally in Fifa's play now and the organisation will announce the successful hosts within the next two months.

The Under 20 World Cup is broadcast in more than 200 countries and watched by an audience of about 500 million.

Wouldn't it be great to see some TV crews rolling cameras up here for more than a few court cases in Kaitaia.

Opportunity never knocks twice. Let's greet it immediately and introduce it to preparation.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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