Prince William: England 2018 will provide lasting legacy
Prince William, David Beckham and Prime Minister David Cameron have been voicing their support for England’s 2018 World Cup bid in Zurich ahead of Fifa’s final decision on Thursday.
The trio, who flew out to the Swiss city earlier this week, are working together to convince Fifa that England should stage the World Cup for the first time since 1966.
Prince William, president of the English FA, told Fifa chief Sepp Blatter that his country will “provide a lasting legacy for the global game” if selected to host the 2018 tournament.
“I was not born when the Fifa World Cup finals came last to England,” he wrote in a letter to Blatter. “Needless to say, like every young England supporter, I have been brought up on stories of that legendary time.
“The chance of the FA being given the opportunity to do honour to the memories of 1966 by producing a World Cup to be ranked alongside the greatest makes me yearn for it to happen.”
He added: “Should we be chosen for this great honour, we will provide a lasting legacy for the global game.”
Beckham, the vice president of England 2018, said the final hours leading up to Thursday’s vote could prove pivotal as all of the bidding nations compete to win over members of Fifa’s executive committee with their final presentations.
“The last 24 hours can be the most important without a doubt,” he said. “I know how important it is to keep going right up to the decision.”
Meanwhile, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has confirmed he will not travel to Zurich to speak at Russia’s final presentation to Fifa on Thursday because he believes the sport’s governing body should be left “in peace and without any outside pressure”.
Fifa’s executive committee will vote to decide the host nations for both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups on Thursday with the result set to be announced at around 1500GMT.