Prince promises 'extraordinary' cup


David Beckham, Prince William and Prime Minister David Cameron joined delegates from the English bid team in Zurich

Prince William has promised an extraordinary 2018 World Cup as he joined the final presentation of England’s bid.

And he slipped in a joke about his wedding next year as he told executives from football’s world governing body Fifa why they should choose the English bid.

The prince said: “I know that we can deliver extraordinary public occasions and celebrations. I certainly hope so as I’m planning quite a big one myself next year.”

William, who is president of the Football Association, took the floor in Zurich as part of England’s final presentation team.

The 28-year-old, who will marry Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey on April 29, told Fifa chiefs: “The English love football. That’s why it would be such an honour for us to host the 2018 World Cup.

“But it’s not just about us. I give you an assurance that England is committed to playing its full and proper role in developing football internationally as a member of your global footballing family.”

In his speech, David Cameron promised England would lay on “the most spectacular World Cup in history”.

He promised Fifa executives that an English tournament would not just be a commercial success but a “global event”. And he added: “We have the expertise, we have the stadiums, we have the fans. We have what it takes.”

The nation’s case was opened by Eddie Afekafe, a bid ambassador who works with Manchester City on community football programmes.

Mr Afekafe told the 22-man executive committee that football had turned his life around. Four years ago he was unemployed with friends in gangs and prison. “What I got, what they didn’t get, was an opportunity,” he said. “And that opportunity came through football.”

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