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Page last updated at 17:45 GMT, Monday, 29 November 2010

World Cup 2018 vote - England are 'underdogs'

Panorama will impact on 2018 bid - Anson

England are "underdogs" to win the right to host the 2018 World Cup according to the bid's chief executive ahead of Thursday's vote by Fifa.

Andy Anson is concerned about the impact of a BBC Panorama programme investigating the bidding process airs on Monday (2030 GMT).

"It's a small group of 22 people. If you hurt one of them it has an impact on others, that's inevitable," he said.

"It is certainly not going to win us any votes."

The England 2018 team fears there could be a backlash against the bid from Fifa executive committee members meeting in Zurich.

They are unhappy with the British media after the Sunday Times exposed alleged corruption in the bidding process, followed by the BBC Panorama programme.

The newspaper alleged that Fifa executive committee members Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii offered to sell their World Cup votes for money to fund football projects.

Adamu was later banned from football activity by Fifa for three years and Temarii for one year.

Anson said he would not be watching the Panorama broadcast.

"I don't think we're going to get derailed. We've just got to be aware of the implications of what happens and make sure we act accordingly," said Anson.

England 2018 won't be derailed - Beckham

"We would be naive if we didn't think those things have an impact. It's about understanding the impact, using the information and using your ability to act on that information accordingly.

"We may be underdogs but we can win it. This is the first 10 metres of the final 100 metres."

David Beckham was more confident than Anson of England's chances of staging the 2018 World Cup.

The former England player, 35, has been acting as an ambassador on behalf of the bid team and is part of a 30-man delegation that will be in Zurich for the vote.

"Hopefully I will make a difference," said Beckham.

"There are many people, like Prince William, who have been involved and working hard for the bid and to get it to this final point," he added.

"We are going to Fifa and a lot of delegates because we need to tell those people about why we feel it is the right thing for us to get the World Cup.

"I feel that at the end of the day it is down to what the bid team have done. England have a history and tradition [in football] and it is about the benefits that can be generated by having the World Cup in England."

Beckham said he was not interested in getting involved in the politics or possible controversy surrounding the decision, adding: "I believe it will be a fair decision."

Staging the World Cup in England, like hosting the 2012 Olympic Games on home turf, would be a dream come true, according to Beckham.

Lord Coe adamant England 2018 bid not cursed

"Obviously it is something that people have worked hard for and quite a long time, and now it is up to the next few days," he said.

"We are confident that we have put in the best bid that we can do."

Beckham expects to take part in a few events and meet people ahead of the decision, but he added: "But it is just the importance of us being there and the team being there.

"It is very important now to just stay positive and just hope for the best because really we have put the best bid in that we can do.

"The point that we have always hammered home is that we have always believed we can put on the best World Cup and that we can work as a team.

"We always believe the best about England and football but we are not overconfident.

"We believe we can host the World Cup best but we just need to let everybody know that we are ready for it. It is important for many generations of people, not just in our country but all over the world."

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see also
Prince asks fans to back 2018 bid
27 Nov 10 |  Football
England stars join 2018 bid team
26 Nov 10 |  Football
Dein calls for 2018 bid support
23 Nov 10 |  Football
Fifa 'corruption' pair given bans
18 Nov 10 |  Football
Russia 2018 bid dealt Fifa blow
17 Nov 10 |  Football
England 2018 bid rated 'low risk'
16 Nov 10 |  Football
Qatar 2022 bid hopes suffer blow
17 Nov 10 |  Football
England 2018 team write to Fifa
15 Nov 10 |  Football
Fifa row has hit England 2018 bid
04 Nov 10 |  Football
Fifa official condemns vote sting
02 Nov 10 |  African
The World Cup in their hands
02 Dec 10 |  Football

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