Cameron dodges corruption storm on 2018 bid mission

PRIME MINISTER David Cameron last night brushed off the furore surrounding Panorama’s allegations and pledged to do his utmost to ensure England win the vote to host the 2018 World Cup.

Cameron arrived in Zurich yesterday ahead of tomorrow’s decisive ballot and is one of three big names, which also include Prince William and David Beckham, who will lead England’s last-ditch lobbying efforts.

English hopes have been hit by Panorama’s claims, broadcast on Monday, of corruption among members of Fifa’s executive committee – the very men Cameron and colleagues are desperate to woo.

But he said: “I’ve only got one focus here and that’s trying to bring the World Cup home for England. That’s going to be my focus, talking to the decision-makers and pressing them on the brilliance of English football and what we can bring for this bid. That’s my concern, nothing else.”

The BBC programme’s claims follow similar allegations in a Sunday newspaper and former England captain Beckham said he reassured Fifa president Sepp Blatter that the British media was not anti the tournament.

“We made clear, and he already knows, that, if we were to get the World Cup in 2018, our media will be right behind it,” he said.

Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee is investigating Panorama’s claims about Issa Hayatou, president of the Confederation of African Football and an IOC member. Hayatou last night denied receiving a bribe and said he was considering legal action.