Page last updated at 14:32 GMT, Tuesday, 17 June 2008 15:32 UK

FA seeks World Cup campaign team

World cup trophy
England is just one of the countries bidding to host the 2018 World Cup

The Football Association (FA) has hired headhunters to recruit a campaign team to run England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup.

Recruitment firm Odgers Ray and Berndtson is looking to fill leading roles including chief executive.

The company says the ideal candidate will have strong skills in building relationships to persuade members of FIFA to vote for the British bid.

It is hoped that the team will be assembled within the next six months.

"The clock is ticking so clearly this is almost certainly going to be someone who is already an experienced chief executive," said Simon Cummins, the head of Odger's sports practice who will carry out the recruitment search.

"First and foremost they have to be a relationship builder as to win this bid they have to win 13 out of the 24 votes from the FIFA executive committee, so that's going to involve a lot of international relations," he told the BBC.

Mr Cummins said the search would not be confined to British business people. It will be a "full-blown global search", he said.

Odgers have a track record in finding candidates for top jobs in sport.

The firm also recruited Paul Deighton, former chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs Europe, as chief executive of the Organising Committee of the London 2012 Olympic games.

The Football Association says the cost of bidding to host the games will cost up to 15m.

Australia, Russia and the United States are also in the running. FIFA will make its decision in 2011.

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