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British Prime Minister, Beckham to make England World Cup pitch

  • BBC, Tuesday, November 30, 2010 1:47 PM

British Prime Minister David Cameron and Galaxy midfielder David Beckham are among 30 members of a England 2018 delegation lobbying for its cause to host the tournament. Groups make their final presentations Wednesday (2022) and Thursday (2018) with voting on both tournaments to be conducted later Thursday.

The bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 competitions has been scarred by the suspension of two FIFA executive committee members for corruption and allegations of vote-trading and bribery aimed at several others. An episode of the BBC program Panorama ran on Monday (view Part 1 and Part 2) that alleges several members of the executive committee received payments from ISL, a defunct company formerly affiliated with FIFA in its marketing and licensing operations, prior to the company's closure in 2001.

After arriving in Zurich Tuesday Cameron deflected questions about the scandals. "I have got one focus here and that is to try to bring the World Cup home for England," he told BBC Sport. "I am going to be pressing on them the brilliance of English football. That is going to be the concern, nothing else."

Executive committe members Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii were suspended Oct. 20 for brokering their votes. If they are not replaced, the remaining 22 committee members will conduct a series of votes to determine the 2018 and 2022 hosts; FIFA president Sepp Blatter holds the deciding vote in case of a tie.

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