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Page last updated at 16:38 GMT, Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Infighting harms England 2018 Cup bid - Karren Brady

David Beckham and Wayne Rooney have thrown their weight behind the bid
The bid has enjoyed high-profile support from England players

Karren Brady says that England's hopes of hosting the 2018 World Cup are in danger of being undermined by internal politics among the bid team.

Brady was one of six board members to stand down earlier this month, while Premier League chairman Dave Richards resigned from the bid team on Tuesday.

"There's been bickering, infighting and disruption," she told BBC Radio 5 live.

Asked if the bid had been a shambles, Brady said: "From the outside looking in, that's probably fair comment."

Brady is now the leader of an advisory board to the 2018 World Cup bid committee, after little more than a month as a full member of the board, and she admitted she was concerned that the campaign could lose its way.

"If everybody doesn't pull together for the same aim, things won't be achieved," added the 40-year-old.

"We've got an excellent chance and an excellent technical bid.

"We've got some wonderful stadia in this country to host the most amazing World Cup.

"But internal politics can't be seen to be getting in the way of that."

Brady joined the bid board in October, but stood down - along with the likes of Manchester United chief executive David Gill - shortly after as part of a "streamlining" process.


"I was appointed to the board to bring some expertise from having a career over all levels of football for 16 years," added the former Birmingham City director.

"Then it was decided that the board should be more streamlined because there was a lot of people on it and lot of internal politics.

"I was asked what my view was and I thought that was a very good idea. I thought that the people running the bid should be on an executive level, rather than an advisory level like myself."

Brady's departure from the board coincided with the appointment of Richards, but the Premier League chairman resigned from the bid team on Tuesday after less than two weeks in the role.

The upheaval gives bid chairman Lord Triesman, who is also the Football Association's chairman, more unwelcome problems shortly before a crucial trip to South Africa.

"I don't think that Dave's resignation should be seen that he doesn't want England to host the 2018 World Cup," said Brady.

"But he has made his decisions and I'll be interested to know what those decisions are about."

Karen Brady
Brady is a former director of Birmingham City

But Brady rejected claims that Richards' resignation was down to a desire to oust Treisman.

"I know Dave well enough to know that if that was his aim, he would have come out and said it," she said.

"He definitely will be involved [in the bid] because he's the chairman of the Premier League and has lots of other commitments to football.

"Sitting on 2018 is an extremely time-consuming role. Now the committee has been streamlined they want people to be more involved, not less."

Brady, who left Birmingham after Carson Yeung took over at St Andrews, also admitted that England's bid to host the 2018 finals appears to lack confidence and unity in the face of some stiff opposition.

"I think there's a lot of people who want to win 2018," said Brady.

"I just hope that things can be resolved so that the really important thing, which is hosting the World Cup, is at the top of the agenda rather than the bottom."

Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, the United States and joint bids from Belgium-Netherlands and Portugal-Spain are the direct competition for 2018.

Cities hoping to host World Cup matches if England win the the right to stage the 2018 tournament will submit the proposals to the bid team on Thursday.

However, Portsmouth will not be among them after pulling out of the race on Wednesday.

The England 2018 team will then announce its potential host cities on 16 December.

England's final bid will be delivered to Fifa in May 2010.

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see also
Portsmouth pulls out of 2018 bid
25 Nov 09 |  Portsmouth
Richards resigns from 2018 board
24 Nov 09 |  Internationals
World Cup bid 'is worth 250m'
24 Nov 09 |  Bristol
England 2018 bid team streamlined
12 Nov 09 |  Football
Fifa man hands back England gift
04 Nov 09 |  Football
England 'must improve 2018 bid'
07 Oct 09 |  Football
Argentines back England Cup bid
17 Sep 09 |  Football
Triesman calls for World Cup bid support
18 May 09 |  Internationals
The race to host World Cup 2018 and 2022
17 Mar 09 |  Internationals
Pele backs England World Cup bid
07 Nov 07 |  Football
Karren Brady hired for Apprentice
30 Aug 09 |  Entertainment

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