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BBC Panorama won't hit England 2018 bid - David Cameron

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England 2018 an easy sell - Cameron

British Prime Minister David Cameron is frustrated at the timing of a Panorama probe into Fifa, but said it will not affect England's 2018 World Cup bid.

The BBC programme investigating world football's governing body will be aired on 29 November - three days before the vote on 2 December in Zurich.

"Is it frustrating that Panorama's doing this programme a few days before? Of course it is," Cameron told the BBC.

"But it's a free country. I think Fifa will understand."

England 2018 bid chief executive Andy Anson had accused the BBC of being 'unpatriotic' in airing the programme so soon before the vote.

And, with a recent Sunday Times investigation into world football's governing body also resulting in two Fifa officials being banned while four others were suspended , the British media were feared to be harming England's hopes.

I think the job that Andy and others and myself are going to have in Zurich is to say to Fifa to look at the bids on their merits

British PM David Cameron

Panorama defended its decision to air the programme as being in the 'public interest'.

A BBC spokesperson stated: "Panorama has a reputation for strong, independent and probing investigative journalism.

"The findings of the Panorama investigation into Fifa will be in the public interest."

And Cameron was keen to emphasise the positives of the British media.

"I think we also have to try and convince them [Fifa], yes we've got a robust and independent media, but our media love football and when it comes to the World Cup," added Cameron who will be part of a 30-man delegation in Zurich next week trying to win votes.

"In terms of audience, in terms of the press coverage around the world, actually the media will give it a fantastic boost here in this country."

Russia and joint bids from Netherlands-Belgium and Spain-Portugal are also vying to host the 2018 World Cup finals and, although Cameron believes England has a strong case, he is aware of the battle ahead if he is to help the the bid achieve victory.

"I think it's a very easy sell because if you think about it we've got the stadia, the fans, a country that's mad about football," he told Football Focus.

"It would be such a great World Cup if we had it here. One of the ways to sell it to the world is that the world watches English football, the world comes and plays its football in England and so bringing the World Cup to England is such a natural step.

"Now we've got a real fight on our hands in Zurich, but I'm looking forward to it because I think we've got a great case to make."

He added: "I think the job that Andy and others and myself are going to have in Zurich is to say to Fifa to look at the bids on their merits.

"To look at the technical aspects, at the stadia, at the fans, at the country, at what England can offer and yes, of course, we have a free media, a democracy, but look at the upsides and the advantages. We just have to make that case."

The ballot to choose the 2022 World Cup host will also take place on 2 December with Australia, Japan, Qatar, South Korea and the United States the countries in the race to win that contest.

There were supposed to be 24 voters but that was reduced by two after Fifa executive committee members Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii were barred from voting.

Adamu was banned from football activity for three years and Temarii for one year over claims they asked for money in exchange for World Cup votes.

And, in terms of the 2018 candidates, South America's Conmebol federation - which has three votes - has come out to say they will be backing the joint bid of Spain and Portugal .



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see also
Oceania seeks World Cup reprieve
27 Nov 10 |  Football
Prince asks fans to back 2018 bid
27 Nov 10 |  Football
England 2018 an easy sell - Cameron
26 Nov 10 |  Football Focus
2018 chief dubs BBC 'unpatriotic'
17 Nov 10 |  Football
Cameron visit boost for 2018 bid
23 Nov 10 |  Football
England bid not damaged - Blatter
19 Nov 10 |  Football
South Americans back Iberia bid
25 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
The World Cup in their hands
02 Dec 10 |  Football


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