England in a fighting mood
Published : 29 Nov 2010 18:30:32Rss feed
England's 2018 World Cup bid chief Andy Anson promised to "fight like crazy" to secure the required number of votes to get England over the line in Thursday's ballot.
Speaking at a news conference at the England bid team's hotel on the banks of Lake Zurich, Anson said no stone would be left unturned to beat England's three European rivals in the race to stage the tournament for the first time since 1966.
"We are in the first 10 of the final 100 metres," said Anson, who revealed he knew exactly how many votes England currently had.
"We've been having meetings and we know what our path is to victory.
"We know all the options and are planning accordingly. I'm not going to talk about actual votes, but we know who is committed to supporting us and the votes we think we can get.
"There are still people who still have to decide. We've got to work very hard to make sure that everything comes to fruition. We will fight like crazy to win in the next few days."
Anson admitted England were underdogs but believes there is still time to nose in front of Spain/Portugal and Russia.
"We may be underdogs as we sit here now but we can win it," Anson added.
Anson also revealed that Thursday's vote would almost certainly now be taken by 23 FIFA executive committee members after the Oceania Football Confederation gave the go-ahead for Reynald Temarii, the OFC president suspended by FIFA's ethics committee for his role in the cash-for-votes scandal, to be replaced by acting president David Chung.
FIFA have yet to confirm that Chung has been given permission to cast the OFC's sole vote in both the 2018 and 2022 ballots, but Anson said: "We are anticipating 23 voters. We are waiting to hear officially. We know what the strategy is with 23. It means you have get over the line with 12 votes instead of 13 and we know which 12 we are targeting."