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England bid will not be affected by 'Hung' Parliament

Tue 11th May 2010 | Club & Country Competitions

The leaders of England's 2018 World Cup campaign have insisted it would not be blown off course by a hung parliament, as they revealed that Prince William, Prince Harry and David Beckham would be deployed to back their cause in the coming months

Speaking to the Guardian,  Lord Triesman said England would deliberately wait until after the World Cup to extend an invitation to Blatter, who will play a pivotal role in influencing the other 23 executive committee members when the vote is taken in December.

"The commitment of all three parties is exactly as it was before the general election. Obviously, there are other things that are going to be on the agendas of politicians coming into government in this country," said Triesman. "But I haven't got any sense at all that this has dropped down their pecking order. They want that competition in this country as much as I do."

He said that Blatter would be invited to visit Wembley and No 10 by the new prime minister, whoever it turns out to be, following the World Cup. Triesman was speaking to mark the departure of the technical bid book, the hefty 1,752 page document that outlines precise details of the bid. It left Wembley in a security van bound for Zürich, where it will be presented to Fifa on Friday's deadline by a delegation led by Beckham.

England's technical bid is seen as one of its key strengths, with the quality of the country's stadiums and infrastructure likely to be presented as a safe commercial bet for Fifa following World Cups in South Africa and Brazil. "Because it will be a huge commercial success, we will be able to do a lot in legacy terms around the rest of the world," said Triesman.

A period of crucial lobbying will take place around the Fifa congress, to be held before the World Cup in South Africa. Prince William and Prince Harry will host a reception in Johannesburg the day after England play Algeria in Cape Town, it was confirmed today.

Fifa inspectors will visit England in August to tour the 12 proposed host cities and assess the country's bid against the promises outlined in the bid book ahead of Fifa's vote in December. The 2018 tournament is widely expected to go to a European nation, pitting England against Russia, Spain/Portugal and Holland/Belgium.

Triesman insisted that England's bid would benefit from being perceived as whiter than white.

"I don't believe you can ever be too clean, I don't mean you should not fight hard or be politically unrealistic but I have said from the beginning that we would not try to earn this by means we would be ashamed of, we simply wouldn't do it," he said.

"I think that's helpful to us. When people say to us 'you're all very gentlemanly and play by the rules' I'm afraid I can't take that as a criticism, I would rather people knew we did it the right way and I believe we will succeed from doing it that way. People right around the world want to see it won in the proper way."


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