David Beckham teamed up with Prime Minister David Cameron to try to repair any damage to England’s 2018 World Cup bid by BBC claims about Fifa corruption.
Beckham, Cameron and England 2018 international president David Dein met Fifa president Sepp Blatter in Zurich and the allegations made by Panorama were among the topics discussed.
The programme accused three of the 25 Fifa executive committee members responsible for deciding on Thursday who hosts the competition, of accepting ‘corrupt’ payments.
Fifa vice-president Issa Hayatou was alleged to have accepted a £10,000 bribe in 1995.
Mr Hayatou, from Cameroon, denies the allegation, maintaining a £10,000 payment from a former sponsor was put towards the Confederation of African Football’s 40th anniversary celebrations.
The president of African Football is now being investigated by the International Olympic Committee.
The furore has been played down by Mr Cameron, who flew to Zurich to meet with Blatter and other executive committee members, including Fifa vice-president Jack Warner, who was accused on Panorama of attempting to supply ticket touts.
Deflecting questions about Fifa’s transparency following the Panorama investigation, Mr Cameron said: “I’ve only got one focus here, and that is to try to bring the World Cup home for England.
“Now that is going to be my focus. Talking to the decision makers, pressing them on the brilliance of English football, of what we can bring for this bid, that is going to be my concern, nothing else
“I think we have got a very strong team here – Prince William, David Beckham and myself – and we are going to be making the arguments for England 2018.”