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Lord Coe: World Cup bid ‘lacked influence’

Lord Sebastian Coe. Photo credit: Philip Toscano/PA wire Lord Sebastian Coe. Photo credit: Philip Toscano/PA wire

Tuesday, November 13, 2012
8:00 AM

England must do the ground work if it is ever to stand a chance of hosting a World Cup, by getting people in to positions of influence in world football, Lord Coe said.

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The two-time Olympic 1,500m champion and new British Olympic Association chairman, helped spearhead London’s winning bid to host the 2012 Games.

He was brought on board at a later stage of England’s bid to host the World Cup in 2018 which came to a dismal end in December 2010.

Lord Coe sensed the stark difference between the two bids was the feeling that “we were insiders” with the Olympic bid.

He told Sky News: “We were in the corridors of influence. We were able to shape so many things because we were there.

“I did sense, admittedly in the short time I was involved with 2018, that we just did not have enough people in the game.

“We sometimes confuse, I think, the global reach and the power of the Premiership [Premier League] with our status as individual nations involved in football.

“It is really important that we spend the next period of time - not trying to figure out necessarily how to win a World Cup bid but how we get people in to positions of influence within the international game.

“I do not think we have enough people of that status to help us shape our thinking around that.”

England won just two votes and was eliminated in the first round despite intense lobbying from Prince William, Prime Minister David Cameron and footballer David Beckham.

Russia was chosen by 22 Fifa delegates to stage the biggest football tournament in the world.

Hosting a World Cup at home would “inspire, without any doubt at all,” a new generation of girls and boys to play football, Lord Coe predicted.

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