Having won the FIFA World Cup in France in 1998 Patrick Vieira knows more than most about fantastic home support helping you to victory. Vieira is now lending his support to France’s bid to host the 2018 Ryder Cup.
Vieira believes hosting the Ryder Cup on French soil would widen its appeal in the country increasing participation specifically amongst people from less traditional golfing backgrounds.
In addition, the former Arsenal and current Manchester City star feels the proposed 2018 location of Paris would ensure unrivalled home support for the European team including his thousands of English fans who would have a short journey across the Channel to see all the action.
Paris has a superb tourism infrastructure and accessibility and is easily reached by all forms of transport. The selected 2018 course, Golf National, can be reached in only 20 minutes from the Eifel Tower and by 2018 it is planned that 70% of fans will travel by public transport.
Vieira is looking forward to playing more golf in the future and feels strongly about opening the game to a new audience, commenting; “One of the reasons I am particularly keen to support the bid is because it will really open up golf for everyone.
Already there are initiatives for women, children and older people to play the game and for the 2018 bid the French Golf Federation are creating 100 new compact courses near urban areas that will allow those from less traditional golfing backgrounds to play. It is important to show that everyone can have access to the game.”
Vieira has experienced first-hand France’s proven ability to host major sporting events and like all French football fans will never forget the scenes of celebration on the Champs Elysees in 1998.
Vieira added; “’98 helped bring more kids in, to fall in love with the game, a big competition helps bring everyone together. After we won it was incredible, like you have not seen in Paris before. The effect of ’98 meant improved stadiums, access to the stadiums […] everything after the World Cup improved in football and the same can happen with the Ryder Cup.”
For 2018 France will have a fan zone at the base of the Eiffel Tower which will play a key part throughout the Ryder Cup. To launch the 2018 Ryder Cup in France the two Captains will hit the longest opening drives in history from the first floor of the Eiffel Tower creating an everlasting image for golf and sports fans across the world.
The French bid has outlined twelve key areas which they have pledged will ensure the most successful Ryder Cup to date. These include the future growth of golf across Europe, France’s successful history of hosting major international sporting events and the nation’s backing for the event with public, commercial and governmental support. Furthermore with Golf National’s location adjacent to Paris and the Chateau de Versailles would deliver an unrivalled cultural experience for all.
France 2018 Ryder Cup www.rydercup2018france.com
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