Beckham delivers bid book for World Cup 2018

At a ceremony at FIFA headquarters, the former Manchester United and
Real Madrid midfielder spoke of the "passion and emotion" England could
bring to the tournament as he led a five-strong delegation to
Switzerland.

"I’m here on behalf of our fans," said Beckham.
"Football runs through our veins. We are all brought up on it. It’s
truly an honour to be here. On behalf of our team, the delegation and
our fans, we present you with our bid book."

In thanking the
English delegation – second among the nine candidates to present their
dossiers – FIFA president Sepp Blatter referred to England as the
"motherland" of football and disclosed he had already spoken to Prime
Minister David Cameron who had personally endorsed the bid.

"Yesterday
I received a phone call from the new Prime Minister. Not only did he
express his determination to be behind the bid but he is also behind the
World Cup in 2010," said Blatter.

The final vote will be taken by
FIFA’s executive committee on December 2. It is expected that 2018 will
go to Europe, where Russia plus joint bids by Spain/Portugal and
Holland/Belgium are up against England. The other countries expected to
fight it out for 2022 are Australia, United States, Qatar, Korea and
Japan.

Speaking to journalists after the presentation Beckham
confirmed he had been approached by manager Fabio Capello with regard to
playing a part for England at this summer.

Beckham’s hopes of
playing at a fourth World Cup were dashed when he picked up a serious
Achilles injury playing for Milan earlier in the season.

The
midfielder is well into his recovery programme and although not fit
enough to play, is able to take part in training – leading to
suggestions he could figure in a coaching capacity in South Africa.

Beckham
has not discussed details of his role with Capello, but the door is
ajar for him to lend a hand to England’s bid for glory.

"I have
been offered a role to be with the squad and the team," Beckham said. " I
have not sat down with the manager and Franco Baldini yet to discuss my
actual role, but they have made it clear they would love me to be
there.

"Everybody knows with Fabio Capello and his staff you are
there for a reason, you are not there just to enjoy the competition –
you are there to help the team be successful. I am honoured to have
that.

"We will have to see how my therapy goes over the next few
weeks, but hopefully it goes well and I will be involved. The role I
would love is to be with the team and to help."
 

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