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Page last updated at 19:59 GMT, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 20:59 UK

Warner supporting England Cup bid

Jack Warner
Warner can see David Beckham playing a big part in England's bid

Fifa vice-president Jack Warner has provided hope to England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup by claiming all other bids would be a "distant second".

Warner said on Saturday that England's "arrogance" could cost them and feels the Football Association has "a lot of work to do to win support in Europe".

But he added to BBC Radio 5 Live: "In 2006, England's bid was the best.

"I believe it's still the best. They must talk to their European colleagues and convince them not to bid."

Warner is viewed as one of the most powerful men in world football and his importance can be traced back to England's failed 2006 World Cup bid, when three of England's five votes came from him.

But the 65-year-old president of Concacaf, which covers North and Central America, and the Caribbean, has said his vote of confidence alone may not be enough.

Nobody in this part of the world will ever think they are arrogant again

Jack Warner on the English FA
"The catalyst of my support for England for the bid for 2018 is because I don't believe any country of England's football pedigree should not have a world cup for almost 50 years," he said.

"England, a country that invented the sport and with all the facilities England has, has not hosted a world cup and I think it is wrong.

"But I said to Tony Banks (leader of England's 2006 bid) then that they will not win the bid because they didn't have European support.

"Even now, if England gets support from outside, she still needs at least two or three people in Europe to give support."

However, Warner believes England's friendly against Trinidad and Tobago went a long way to convincing him that the men in charge of the FA and England's bid are capable of winning support for their bid.

"Nobody in this part of the world will ever think they are arrogant again," he said. "They were the most helpful, kind, considerate people, who fell over themselves to help anyone they could.

606: DEBATE
"Finally, England has to try to remove or reduce what people perceive to be arrogance - rightly or wrongly.

"That leaves an impression that will last for decades. Now they can do the same all over the world. Fight the fight on all fronts.

"They need to fight a hard, aggressive campaign based on what is right, what is correct, and what is good for the sport."

And, one way to do that says Warner, would be to appoint David Beckham as the bid's ambassador.

"What England needs is to have somebody like a David Beckham to be its ambassador out there to sell the idea. Beckham is loved by all. Beckham is like Pele and therefore use him to sell the idea.

"For many people it would bring a legitimacy to the bid," he said.

"Beckham will be speaking to the powers that be - the people that matter - and letting them know England's time is now and that he is contributed in someway towards making that a reality.

"I think that particularly young people look up to Beckham. Whatever you may say of Beckham, he is an icon and an idol internationally."

However, Warner did warn that he would not vote against a bid from the USA should the two go head to head to host the 2018 World Cup.

"No, it would be political suicide for me to go against my own federation's country," he said.

"But I don't think USA would get the requisite number of votes in total to win the bid so I would urge them not to bid, allowing Concacef and our friends to support England.

"Then, perhaps, the USA could do a deal to host the 2022 World Cup."

Hear the full interview on BBC Radio 5 Live from 1930 Weds, 3 June.


see also
FA to spend 15m on World Cup bid
24 Apr 08 |  Football
Caborn upbeat over World Cup bid
29 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Warner backs England 2018 Cup bid
14 Feb 08 |  Internationals
Caborn hits back at Warner attack
10 Aug 07 |  Internationals
England gets Beckenbauer backing
29 Jul 07 |  Football
Blatter knocks England 2018 hopes
28 Feb 07 |  Internationals
Beckenbauer will back England bid
28 Jan 07 |  Internationals
Caborn eyes 'formidable' 2018 bid
01 Jul 07 |  Internationals


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