PRIME MINISTER David Cameron has embarked on a charm offensive after England’s ailing bid to host the 2018 World Cup suffered further blows yesterday.
England is thought to have lost at least one vote, perhaps two, after governing body Fifa banned two top officials, Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii over corruption allegations.
To make matters worse, the chairman of Fifa’s ethics committee then launched an attack on the English newspaper that probed Adamu and Temarii, increasing fears a backlash against English media could affect support in the 2 December vote.
With Adamu and Temarii’s bans trimming the number of votes to be cast from 24 to 22, currying favour with the remaining members of the all-powerful executive committee has become even more fundamental.
Cameron, knowing this, yesterday telephoned Jack Warner, one of the most powerful members of the committee, in the latest attempt to woo him before next month’s decision.
“He called to ask me for my support for the English bid and he asked me to join him for lunch next week Thursday,” said Caribbean Warner.
Adamu was banned from all football activity for three years and Temarii for one, while both were fined four-figure sums. The pair were accused by the Sunday Times of asking for money in exchange for votes.
ANALYSIS | ENGLAND’S CHANCES
Some positive remarks in Fifa reports had this week given England renewed hope, but yesterday’s events dampened spirits again. Serious doubts remain that England’s bid will have enough support to beat Spain/Portugal and Russia.