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England need Beckham to boost 2018 World Cup bid

October 08, 2009 10:26 IST

England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup is falling off the pace and needs help from David Beckham, CONCACAF president and FIFA executive member Jack Warner said on Wednesday.

But England bid chairman Lord Triesman said his group were merely heeding Warner's previous advice to take a "listening approach" following the mistakes of the failed bid for the 2006 tournament when England's approach was criticised as arrogant.

David BeckhamEngland are among 10 bidders for 2018 but Warner said the country was failing to take full advantage of its attributes and that the likes of Spain and Russia were making a strong early impression.

"England has the best infrastructure, the best league, the best history in the world and when I see all these things I ask why they are not doing better," Warner said at the Leaders in Football conference at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

"They don't have a divine right to hold it but I feel they (the bid committee) don't exploit their attributes, they are not lording it over their opponents.

"My colleagues are saying the people coming to them are lightweight. They need to be creative and innovative. I would take David Beckham for example and make him my ambassador. He has that stardust.

"Some of they guys who have to vote do not know the people on the England bid committee -- but they know Beckham, they know Michael Owen."

South Africa host the next World Cup in 2010 with Brazil staging the 2014 event.

FIFA will decide the 2018 host in December 2010 but Warner said the last six months before that were irrelevant as the executive members would have made their minds up by then.

"People say it's a marathon -- give me a break, this is a 100 metre sprint, they need to get moving." Warner said.

"I was in Rio last week and the name on people's lips (for 2018) was Spain and then Russia. "I'm not even sure what those countries are doing but I do know what England are not doing.

"I have nothing to hide, I am giving advice to England -- I'm not saying I'm voting for it -- I'm saying if they don't get their act together they will lose."

Warner was particularly impressed with a piece of "ambush marketing" delivered by the Australia and Qatar bids, who presented bags and bid documents to delegates at Wednesday's conference -- with nothing in sight from England.

"I love what Australia did this morning," he said. "But if I was running the England bid I would have been more aggressive, I wouldn't have allowed them and Qatar to have a bag here.

"People are looking at these sort of things and asking questions."

Triesman, however, dismissed the criticisms and said his group was working to its own timetable.

"What's interesting is that initially Jack's advice was not to repeat what happened in the bid for 2006, a touch too arrogant, maybe," Triesman told reporters.

"We took the decision to not be in the face of people but that it was better to get to know the 24-man committee. We have done a lot of listening and we don't regret it.

"We have probably developed a better reputation around the world that we had during the 2006 process."

FA chairman Triesman said Chicago's surprise first-round failure in last week's 2016 Olympics vote perhaps suggested that relying on a "stellar figure", in their case U.S. President Obama, was not the way to go.

"I haven't run into anyone from FIFA saying 'where's your Nelson Mandela?,'" Triesman said.

"We deliver our bid book in May and there will be an acceleration in the process as the current season develops. We've got 14 months to put the things we are learning into operation."

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