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Page last updated at 17:15 GMT, Wednesday, 1 December 2010

David Beckham has faith in Fifa members

WORLD CUP 2018 & 2022 VOTE
Venue: Fifa HQ, Zurich Date: Thursday 2 December Result expected from: 1500 GMT Coverage: Live BBC Two from 1445 GMT, commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, plus live text commentary and live streaming (UK only) of 2018 bid presentations on BBC Sport website from 0800 GMT.


Beckham positive on 2018 bid progress

David Beckham insists he has "trust" in Fifa to judge England's 2018 World Cup bid on its merits ahead of Thursday's ballot in Zurich.

There are fears English media reports will have a negative effect on the vote of the 22 Fifa executive members.

But Beckham said: "I think that we can trust every one of the members."

Prime Minister David Cameron is in Zurich to help the 2018 team, unlike Russian PM Vladimir Putin, who says Fifa has been "smeared" by the media.

Putin has claimed that recent allegations by the British media of corruption among Fifa's executive committee were part of a deliberate ploy to win the vote.

"I would like to note that recently we have watched with disappointment as an obvious campaign was being unleashed against members of the Fifa executive committee," said Putin, whose presence in Guatemala helped secure the 2012 Winter Olympics for the Black Sea resort town of Sochi.

"They are being smeared in dirt and compromised. ... I interpret this as (a method of) unfair competition.

"We believe that such methods of competition are entirely unacceptable."

While Russia will be without Putin, former England captain Beckham, Prince William and Cameron are part of a 30-strong England 2018 delegation lobbying for last-minute support in Zurich.

Last 24 hours before vote are key - Barnes

"To have that weight behind the bid is a huge thing for us," said Beckham, who was also involved in London's successful bid to host the 2012 Olympics.

Beckham's former England team-mate Alan Shearer added: "There is a feel-good factor about the bid, without being too arrogant. There are 24 hours to go and we can only keep our fingers crossed and give it one final push on Thursday."

Prince William's efforts have seen him meet Fifa's Rafael Salguero, Mohamed Bin Hammam and Chuck Blazer on Tuesday and Nicolas Leoz for breakfast on Wednesday, while Cameron returned to London for Prime Minister's Questions before heading back to Zurich.

The five 2022 hopefuls - Australia, Japan, Qatar, South Korea and the United States - also made their final 30-minute presentations at Fifa headquarters before the 2018 bidders present their case on Thursday.

England face competition from Russia, Spain/Portugal and Netherlands/Belgium to win the right to hold the 2018 competition. The hosts for both 2018 and 2022 will be announced from 1500 GMT on Thursday.

1 Dec: 2022 bids make 30-minute final presentations to Executive Committee (ExCo) at Fifa headquarters in Zurich
Order: Australia (1300 GMT), South Korea (1400 GMT), Qatar (1500 GMT), USA (1600 GMT), Japan (1700 GMT)
2 Dec: 2018 bids make 30-minute final presentations to ExCo at Fifa headquarters
Order: Netherlands-Belgium (0800 GMT), Spain-Portugal (0900 GMT), England (1000 GMT), Russia (1100 GMT)
Process: Secret ballot of 22 ExCo members at Fifa headquarters
To win: One bid needs an absolute majority - 12 votes
If no majority: Bid with fewest votes drops out and another round of voting occurs until majority achieved
If tie: Fifa president Sepp Blatter has casting vote
Announcement: Results put in two envelopes and taken to Zurich Exhibition Centre, where Blatter announces winner (approx 1500 GMT)

Spain/Portugal could have to do without an appearance from Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who has an ankle injury.

Allegations of corruption were made against Fifa vice-presidents Jack Warner and Issa Hayatou as well as Fifa members Leoz and Ricardo Teixeira in the BBC's Panorama programme on Monday, just three days before the vote, raising the hackles of the England bid team.

Cameron has met Fifa president Sepp Blatter as well as holding talks with Warner and Hayatou, who both provided encouraging signs for England's bid on Tuesday.

"The prime minister understands the importance and power of football," said Warner.

Hayatou has said that bribery claims made against him in the BBC documentary will not sway his vote. He strongly denies taking a bribe and has threatened to sue the BBC.

"There is a big difference between Panorama and my relationship with the England bid," said Hayatou. "There is no confusion in my mind."

Beckham, however, believes the effect of the Panorama allegations against Fifa members has been overcome.

"I think the momentum is out there now, people have focused on the negative side of what has been said and we now are focused on the positive side," he said.

Panorama accused Hayatou, 64, of taking 100,000 French francs (£12,900) in 1995 from sports marketing firm ISL. The now-defunct business had been lobbying to gain lucrative rights from Fifa.

However, Cameroonian Hayatou has said the sum was in fact paid to the Confederation of African Football, which he heads, as part of a sponsorship deal.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said it will look into the bribery allegations because Hayatou is also a member of the IOC.

Fifa vice presidents Issa Hayatou (left) and Jack Warner
Hayatou (left) and Warner will be two of the 22 Fifa members voting

Allegations concerning Trinidad & Tobago's Warner revolved around Panorama saying it had seen e-mails and an invoice which showed he was involved in the procurement of $84,000 worth of 2010 World Cup tickets.

The e-mail trail suggests the tickets were destined for the black market but the planned deal - including 38 tickets for the final in Johannesburg - collapsed because the touts were not prepared to pay the asking price.

In 2006, Panorama revealed that Mr Warner had sold tickets on the black market for that year's World Cup tournament in Germany.

Fifa subsequently ordered Mr Warner's family business, Simpaul Travel, to make a $1m donation to charity to "compensate for the profits it had made through resale of 2006 Fifa World Cup tickets".

A BBC spokesman has said that the corporation will stand by the claims made in Panorama.

Meanwhile, the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) says it will not be able to vote at Thursday's meeting after its delegate, Reynald Temarii, decided to appeal against his suspension from Fifa's executive committee.

Mr Temarii was suspended along with Amos Adamu of Nigeria, president of the West African Football Union, following an investigation by the Sunday Times, which alleged that they were prepared to sell their votes on the 2018 finals.

The acting president of the OFC, David Chung, had flown to Zurich expecting to take Mr Temarii's place on the executive committee. However, Fifa informed him that he could not do so while the appeal process was still continuing.

"Despite pressures and issues at stake for the OFC, I decided not to waive this fundamental right to restore my honour, dignity and integrity following the calumnious accusations I suffered from the Sunday Times," said Mr Temarii.

The hosting decision will now be made by 22 members of the executive committee following Temarii and Amadu's suspensions. Both men have denied the allegations.

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see also
Bidders for 2022 make final pitch
01 Dec 10 |  Football
Putin to stay away from Fifa bid
01 Dec 10 |  Europe
England bid incredibly strong - Cameron
30 Nov 10 |  Football
Cameron focused on World Cup bid
30 Nov 10 |  Football
The World Cup in their hands
02 Dec 10 |  Football
Profiles: Fifa accused
30 Nov 10 |  UK

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