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Page last updated at 19:05 GMT, Thursday, 13 May 2010 20:05 UK

David Beckham's 2018 World Cup bid letter of support

England 2018 vice-president David Beckham explains in a letter why England should win the right to host 2018 World Cup:

David Beckham
Beckham helped launched England's 2018 bid in May 2009

"As you read this I am in Zurich about to undertake the unique privilege of handing England's Bid Book for the 2018/22 World Cups to the president of Fifa Sepp Blatter.

This is an amazing honour for any English man or woman.

As a player nothing could possibly beat playing in front of your own fans in your own country at the World Cup and I hope our players of the future will be fortunate enough to experience this.

The Bid Book contains all of the detail of how we would host the World Cup in either 2018 or '22.

It shows how passionate we are as a nation for football, how our society is amongst the most diverse in the world with communities ready to welcome every team, how we already have fantastic stadia, training grounds, transport and hotels which will enable us to stage a festival of football, creating the most commercially successful World Cup ever.

All of these on their own are excellent reasons why hopefully we can persuade the 24 voters on the Fifa executive committee in December to award England this great prize.

But I would like everyone to think of other reasons, to think of South Africa, where the World Cup starts next month, and a young girl called Nothemba, to think of Eddie from Manchester and Kadra from west London.

They are the most compelling reasons why we would be the best hosts.

Nothemba, Eddie and Kadra are with me today representing the England bid.

Four years ago Eddie was unemployed, lived in a tough area of Manchester where crime was high and drugs were rife. Many of his friends were in gangs but he wanted a different life and volunteered for the Manchester City community Kickz programme.

Now he works full time for the Manchester City Foundation where he leads and motivates young people and in 2009 he won the Kickz Inspiring Young Person of the Year Award.

Kadra moved to England from Somalia when she was 8. She was called up to play for the national team but her culture's traditions and views prevented her from accepting the honour.

Kadra used this disappointment as a catalyst to set up a Somali women's team in west London, changing attitudes about women's football and bringing women in the local community together.

Nothemba lives in South Africa, is 17, is the captain of her football team and has been coaching young children.

She has been part of the Coaching For Hope Young Leaders' programme which is an Official Charity Partner of the Football Association and part of the FA's International Development Programme which has now been running for 10 years.

This programme and others ensures that the success of English football benefits other areas of the world as well as at home.

I met Nothemba last December at the Coaching For Hope project at Khaylitsha, near Cape Town.

It is amazing to visit a project like this and see the effect football has on young people. Football has the power to change lives and these youngsters are able to learn valuable lessons through their love of the game.

I felt privileged to meet Nothemba and the other children and despite the fact we come from different backgrounds we share a love for the game of football.

HIV/AIDS is one of the very real problems in places like Khaylitsha, and football must ensure it does whatever it can to help educate young people of health dangers and make a difference.

This is the cornerstone of our bid.

Nothemba is here with me because England supports the World Cup in South Africa, which will be a fantastic occasion, but also because a successful England World Cup bid will help change the lives of countless more Nothembas.

Eddie and Kadra show what can be done at home. A World Cup in England is not just about what it can do for our country but what it can also do for the rest of the world.

We believe we can achieve more than any other bid. We can stage an amazingly successful tournament with passion, diversity and excitement.

But this is just a platform for the good work that can be done as a result of us hosting the tournament.

That is why I am totally committed as Vice-President of our bid to bring the World Cup to England and why I ask you to please pledge your support at

Hopefully this year we will win the greatest prize in sport twice, by winning the World Cup on and off the pitch."

David Beckham


Focus on England's World Cup bid - BBC's David Bond reports

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see also
Beckham hands over 2018 Cup bid
14 May 10 |  Football
Beckham to present 2018 bid book
09 May 10 |  Football
Japan abandons 2018 World Cup bid
04 May 10 |  Football
Beckham pledges 2018 bid effort
03 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010
England vaunts 2018 World Cup bid
01 Dec 09 |  Business
Reaction to 2018 bid cities announcement
16 Dec 09 |  Internationals
Milton Keynes picked for 2018 bid
16 Dec 09 |  Internationals
Warner supports England 2018 bid
28 Nov 09 |  World Cup 2010
Infighting harms 2018 bid - Brady
25 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Richards resigns from 2018 board
24 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Fifa man hands back England gift
04 Nov 09 |  Football
2018 bid gives handbags as gifts
23 Oct 09 |  Football
England 'must improve 2018 bid'
07 Oct 09 |  Football
Rivals unite for World Cup bid
23 Jul 09 |  Merseyside
2018 bid chief calls for humility
18 May 09 |  Football
Qatar bids to host 2022 World Cup
17 Mar 09 |  Middle East

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