Busy Anson retains optimism

Bid chief exec feels England are underdogs but can win World Cup vote

By Steve Pass   Last updated: 30th November 2010   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Busy Anson retains optimism

Anson: Remains optimistic


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Andy Anson believes England are underdogs to win the 2018 World Cup vote but insists they can still do it.

World governing body Fifa is set to vote for the host nations for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in Zurich on Thursday.

Anson, England 2018's bid chief executive, believes all is still to play for, although he admits they would have a better chance without the Panorama documentary on Monday night about Fifa.

He told Sky Sports News: "We know what our path is to victory, it's a path that we are pursuing.

"We understand all the options that are out there and the way things may work out and we are planning accordingly.

"So at this point we are optimistic but we know there is a lot of work to do this week and I think there are people who still have to decide."


Anson admitted he knows how many votes the England bid has already attracted but would not reveal the figure in public.

"I know who's committed to support us and I know the votes that I think we can get but we have got to work very hard over the next three days to make sure that everything comes to fruition."

Anson remains optimistic the England bid can prevail, adding: "We can win it, we can definitely win it. We may be underdogs as we sit here now but we can win it and that's what I'm bothered about."

Anson insisted the England bidding team is fully prepared for any eventuality regarding the number of people who will make the vote.

Asked how the prospect of a 23-man vote would change their strategy, he replied: "Well, I think we met a couple of weeks ago, I was very clear that we had a different plan and understood our options if it's 24 people, 23 people or 22 people and we know what the strategy is with 23.

"It means you've got to get 12 votes to get over the line rather than 13 if there were 24 people and so we know which 12 votes we are targeting."


Anson described the BBC as 'unpatriotic' last week regarding the timing of the Panorama documentary and reiterated his belief it will not win the England bid any votes.

"I think I have said in a way everything I need to say. Of course I'm disappointed with the timing and it's certainly not going to win us any votes so we just have to see what happens tonight and move on.

"I for one won't be watching it, I've got other things to do."

Anson added this week will be about consolidating existing support right up to the finishing line, as well as making sure the team can accumulate the votes they need to add on to those.

"I think there are people who may still have options and they are going to decide between various options," he said.

"And it's a complicated process. I think the fact that there are two votes running consecutively complicates the whole process for individual Fifa executive members as well as for the bidders themselves."

Comments (25)

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Nigel Dagin (Nottingham Forest fan) says...

In simple terms, the BBC - which I pay for - is taking a decision to deprive me of seeing the World Cup as an adult in England in my lifeime (I was 10 in 1966).

Posted 23:30 29th November 2010

Grant Barker (Manchester United fan) says...

'FIFA are corrupt', not exactly shocking news is it? The whole lot is a farce from start to finish! From the campaigning to the votes right through to the actual world cup itself! World Cups are second rate compared to Champions League football, and even most top flight domestic leagues around europe are far better and entertaining! I really dont want us to get it, i cant stand FIFA and all there tax dodging,lying officials, they all want sacking and locking up! Its a waste of time,money and energy!

Posted 22:53 29th November 2010

Jamie Allan (Burnley fan) says...

Blatter and his cronies should be brough to justice for the flagrant corruption within OUR!!! beautiful game. They speak about truth, honesty and integrity but practice deception, distortion and subterfuge to line their own pockets. I would love to see England host the world cup but I refuse to sell out my beliefs to this menagerie of embezzlers and liars that we call the fifa executive committee. The truth is "hate speech" only to those who have something to hide. -- Michael Rivero

Posted 21:56 29th November 2010

Rob Mud says...

The fact is that this media attention will harm the bid and alienate England from a lot of the voting nations. If you work in business, you know that deals and agreements hinge on seemingly minor details at times.To be honest, people offering votes for money doesn't surprise me as corruption occurs in all areas of big business. It's not gonna exactly be gripping TV; just a bunch of journalists trying to make a name for themselves and pass it off as a fight for justice. What has been the point in organising all this support when sections of your own media feel that personal gain takes priority over the benefit of the nation! Yes we know there are slimey fellas operating within FIFA. Everyone taking the moral high ground, I hope you enjoy the program and uncover the corruption taking place within your local window-cleaning round - backhanders to the neighbours etc, and take a snap of the smug look on your face afterwards!!!

Posted 21:55 29th November 2010

Rob Taylor (Wrexham fan) says...

After watching panorama,if that is how FIFA behave,I would not want to host the WC or even be in it. Corruption at its worst,the game which was once the means of escape for the working man has now been defiled by the moneymen who are no better than thieves and gangsters. Time to break away from these organisations who have no feeling for the game ,just the money for their pockets.

Posted 21:06 29th November 2010

Cian Martyn (Liverpool fan) says...

I think it's a disgrace that so many people are complaining about the release of the show. Assuming the facts in panorama are correct, then they should be revealed. If they are lies then fifa have nothing to worry about. Fifa's vote shouldn't be swayed by such things. The people above who are saying that panorama shouldn't be released for the sake of the bid should be ashamed with themselves and if covering up truths is England's way of securing the world cup 2018 then i hope the bid fails. @G Quigley- The English people are just as responsible for thinking they are going to win every tournament and then slating the team when they lose.

Posted 19:39 29th November 2010

Graham Bywater says...

Why did the BBC air this Panorama about FIFA just before the bid for the 2018 World Cup. It all relates back to the mid 1990's anyway. Also, who's decision is it to do this anyway. What are directors and the trustees of the BBC thinking about to allow it. Its against the public interest especially that its the public that fund the BBC compulsary licence fees. It shows what a anti-British establishment the media of the BBC is. Its unbelievable, and this decision should be investigated on who the clown is who has given the go ahead for this programmme at this particular time choose whichever way the FIFA vote on Thursday goes. One can understand why Sir Alex Fergeson refuses to talk to them.

Posted 19:31 29th November 2010

Adam Webb (Brighton and Hove Albion fan) says...

Am I the only one who would rather England embarrass themselves on foreign soil, rather than have all the media hype of 66' if we win the bid? Give it to Spain and let's take to it them!

Posted 19:12 29th November 2010

Phil D (Sunderland fan) says...

We won't get the nod for the 2018 World Cup, it's not what Blatter & co wants, we have been able to hold the World Cup for years as we have the best stadia & infrastructre even before the bidding process started, it's all about greasing the right palms, we as a nation believe in integrity while others who have been proven to be less than honest have the say. The problem FIFA have is that they have been caught out & they don't like it, they've been forced to commit to punitive measures. The press were right to bring all this out into the open, after the decision has been made to hold the 2018 World Cup in Russia, more reveklations may well come out

Posted 18:44 29th November 2010

Paddy Noble (Tottenham Hotspur fan) says...

Same old English press and documentries,they love to mess up anything to do with football before things start.We have it with football stars before important competitions,bringing out claims of affairs and whatever and now panorama! And when things hit the fan they have the cheek to blame everyone else but themselves. Time they were banned from even commenting on football related topics,they just ruin it for every football fan. Thanks alot.

Posted 18:40 29th November 2010

David Staples (Arsenal fan) says...

I've heard from several journalist that the freedom of the press is paramount and should be protected. the last time i checked, it was we the licence payers that is paying for this damaging program. Why should this program be aired knowing that the England will be undermined. Whats the betting that after the bid fails, no heads will roll and we will be inundated with journalists covering each others backsides, harping on about the freedom of the press

Posted 18:39 29th November 2010

Gavin Callaghan (Sunderland fan) says...

God Bless FIFA is they don't give us the tournament. The British press won't let them rest until heads at the very top have rolled. It's clear that a great deal of corruption exists within the governing body and a nay vote for England will only conjure up more trouble with Blatter who will never get the British press off his back for the remainder of his presidency. Oh and he would have to forget his nobel peace prize.

Posted 18:04 29th November 2010

B Moss says...

Financial chaos in Spain & Portugal, widespread racism and hooliganism in Russia, no infrastructure in Holland & Belgium: England's bid is by far the strongest. But we won't get it because I our right-wing media who put sales above everything. The public should be boycotting the BBC, the Times and anyone else who undermines us but for some reason we don't seem to get angry enough to take any action.

Posted 17:59 29th November 2010

Chris Andrews (Manchester United fan) says...

Nicholas Reynolds-iwuchukwu u talk the biggest load of rot i have ever heard, just because liverpool are a laughing stock of europe, does not mean englands bid is, and to say the spanish have better facilitys is a joke aswell. maybe you should look into what u comment about before you write stupid things.

Posted 17:58 29th November 2010

James Erskine (Portsmouth fan) says...

There is always going to be joint conflict with all voting processes, I mean lets be honest here. It's not a case of who has the best bid, best facilities, best infrastructure or best league. If that was the case England would win hads down, fact. Unfortunately it's all about politics now and who your country is 'friends' with. The World Cup voting will be more along the lines of that of the Eurovision Song contest. The harsh reality is that FIFA doesn't like England and the votes will highlight this

Posted 17:45 29th November 2010

Chris Jackson (Arsenal fan) says...

Could someone professional please explain the reasoning behind bbc panoramas' decision to investigate the world cup bids days before the vote. There must be more behind "the public have a right to know". I assumed for a country the consequences of hosting a world cup would only be positive: an economic boost, world broadcast showing England it's true light and producing the best event for the greatest game in the world? Am I wrong???

Posted 17:33 29th November 2010

Ian Mcdade (Manchester City fan) says...

What is it with Englands obsession with hosting the World Cup. Is it because it's the only chance of winning it. Take the big 7 nations out of the competition (Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Germany, France, England, Spain) and its no stronger than the Rola Cola Cup.

Posted 17:25 29th November 2010

Alisher Alinem (Manchester United fan) says...

I guess there's a corruption in FIFA, as we have all seen the latest news that two of them got a ban from sport. I might go for Russian Federation, because the idea of FIFA is to improve and develop the idea of the game of Football. I will be upset if England will loose. Anyway I hope the one who's gonna win this Bid, will justify that the country deserves. Thanks

Posted 17:22 29th November 2010

Kevin Mitchell (Bradford City fan) says...

The Panorama programme is typical of what is going on in England. We are rapidly detereorating as a Country and the chance to spark some life in to this faltering Nation is being ruined by our very own institution the BBC! No longer is England, English. We are a soft, over-politicallycorrect, self destructive lot that would rather host something that would suit others and not ourselves. We don't deserve the World Cup because for too long anything that was good about this Country has dwindled. Hence the BBC that is nothing like it was in the 1950s and 1960s - it is such a shame but we've lost the plot - not just the World Cup bid!

Posted 17:04 29th November 2010

Wayne Bracken (Manchester United fan) says...

What do Panorama have to gain from airing their programme ? Absolutely nothing? A World cup for England would of done wonders for the economy but the british media are determined to ruin our chances ie The Telegraph had a story too. Hopefully Beckham and the others can pull the rabbit out of the hat and persuade some of the other nations to side with England we deserve a major tournament it has been far too long without one and our stadiums are second to none.

Posted 16:36 29th November 2010

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