England deliver presentation
England's 2018 World Cup hopes now rest in the hands of Fifa's voters after the bid team delivered their superb concluding presentation.
By Peter Fraser
Last Updated: 02/12/10 12:07pm
England's hopes of hosting the 2018 World Cup now rest in the hands of Fifa's voting executive committee after the bid team delivered their superb concluding presentation in Zurich.
Prince William, Prime Minister David Cameron and David Beckham were among those who spoke to an assembly of world football's governing body at its headquarters on Thursday morning.
England, installed as odds-on favourites with Sky Bet, will now face an agonising wait for the results of the vote against Russia, Spain/Portugal and Holland/Belgium, with an announcement expected at 3pm.
Holland/Belgium and Spain/Portugal have already offered their presentations, while Russia, whose hopes have drifted following the non-attendance of Vladimir Putin, are due at 11am.
England's bid ambassador, Eddie Afekafe, who works with Manchester City on their community programmes, opened the presentation with a short speech on how his life has been improved by football, before Prince William spoke from behind an on-stage podium.
Prince William said: "I love football, we English love football and it would be an honour for us to host the World Cup."
Prime Minister Cameron, without notes, then delivered a slick performance, which preceded a short film on English football and another appearance from Afekafe.
Andy Anson was the next to take the stage, with the England 2018 chief executive highlighting the ways in which the country's assets can be used to stage a "Spectacular festival of football".
Another video, featuring Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp, Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini and Manchester United chief Sir Alex Ferguson was then shown on the big screen to demonstrate the football facilities.
Anson concluded his contribution after the short film by highlighting the social benefits of the World Cup, which was echoed by Afekafe and had earlier been referred to by Prince William.
The Prince said: "What Eddie represents is a credit to Fifa because it's your game that transformed his life.
"England 2018 and Fifa together have the opportunity to create thousands of more opportunities for people like Eddie.
"It's a supremely powerful force for binding people together.
"I also give you an assurance that England is committed to developing football internationally as a member of your football family."
It was then Beckham's turn to take to the stage, with the 115-time England international speaking of his experiences in football and praising World Cup winner Sir Bobby Charlton, who was in the audience as part, and his own family.
Beckham said: "My life in football began with my grandad Joe. I've played on every continent and I'm proud to have been part of the success that English football has enjoyed over the past 20 years.
"I could never have imagined that Fifa would have invited me to take part in the World Cup draw. A year ago today my grandad died, the day before the draw. Now I want to do something that will make my grandad proud.
"Now I want to do more. That's why I am here and why everyone from the Prime Minister to Prince William to Eddie is here today. The benefits will be felt over generations and your vote can make this happen.
"To create a better future for our grandchildren and many millions more, just imagine what we can achieve together."
All members of the presentation took to the stage after a third video and Beckham delivered the closing speech.
He said: "Our dream is to stage a World Cup that is a spectacular tournament.
"Our dream is to stage a World Cup that benefits billions.
"Our dream is to stage a World Cup that makes you, your grandchildren and everyone in football truly proud."
Fifa president Sepp Blatter said at the end of England's presentation: "Thank you England for this excellent presentation."
He added: "Thank you again for this excellent, remarkable presentation."