ZURICH - David Beckham joined British
Prime Minister David Cameron in a meeting with Sepp Blatter on
Tuesday as England's 2018 World Cup bid sought to smooth over
relations with FIFA following bribery claims made in a BBC
The Panorama programme broadcast on Monday offered what it
said was new evidence over the ruling body's appointment of
International Sports and Leisure (ISL) as its marketing arm.
Beckham said after meeting the FIFA president he was not
worried the allegations could harm England's chances in
"What we made clear to him, and what he already knows, is
that if we were to get this World Cup in our country in 2018,
our media would be right behind us," Beckham told television
"I think he is well aware of the support that he will have
for FIFA and for the World Cup."
England is up against bids from Spain/Portugal, Russia and
Netherlands/Belgium in the 2018 process.
The Panorama programme said members Ricardo Teixeira of
Brazil, hosts of the next World Cup, Confederation of African
Football chief Issa Hayatou and South American head Nicolas Leoz
took bribes from ISL to win the lucrative contract.
Hayatou denied the claim in an interview with Reuters on
Tuesday, saying the programme had made a false accusation.
Beckham said Blatter had not expressed annoyance when the
uncomfortable topic was brought up on Tuesday.
"Obviously... it was one of the topics we spoke about of
course, and it is one of the things we cleared away."
Asked if Blatter had been annoyed, Beckham said: "No, he
just mentioned it. Obviously, it's not the most comfortable
thing to talk about, but I think he realises that a lot of it is
obviously old stuff."
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