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Wednesday, January 27, 1999 Published at 13:18 GMT

Sport: Football

All-clear for 2006 campaign

Bobby Charlton - on the move in support of England's bid

The English Football Association has welcomed new guidelines to be issued to all countries bidding for the 2006 World Cup in a bid to avoid an Olympic-style bribery scandal.

World football's governing body, FIFA, is introducing rules which include a £100 limit on the value of any gift offered to a member of the executive committee which will decide which of seven countries should host the finals.

The FA's acting executive director David Davies and interim chairman Geoff Thompson met FIFA president Sepp Blatter in Zurich on Tuesday.

Davies said the FA "firmly believe" that they had been operating "in the spirit of those guidelines up to this point".

[ image: David Davies: FA acting within the rules]
David Davies: FA acting within the rules
He added: "We specifically asked Mr Blatter whether FIFA had any concerns over the activities of any of the bidding countries and he told us on two separate occasions that they did not."

Davies dismissed suggestions that England had been warned to reduce the number of foreign trips which the likes of Sir Geoff Hurst and Sir Bobby Charlton and government Sports Minister Tony Banks have been making in support of the bid.

"It would seem unlikely that you could win the right to host the World Cup without ever leaving central London," he said.

Germany, Brazil, South Africa, Morocco, Nigeria and Egypt are also bidding for the right to stage the 2006 event.

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