BBC doing England 2018’s bid an ill turn?

The chief executive of England’s bid for the 2018 World Cup, Andy Anson, described the BBC as “unpatriotic” for the untimely airing of a “Panorama” documentary and reiterated his belief that it will not win the British bid any votes.

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

"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,” Anson told Sky Sports News. “I, for one, won't be watching it. I've got other things to do.”

The “Panorama” program, which investigates corruption allegations against some of the FIFA officials who will be voting, will be screened on Monday night.

Anson claimed that all dealings with the 24 potential voters on FIFA's executive committee were fair and transparent, refuting allegations that some officials offered their votes in exchange for bribes.

"We've never had a single discussion that I wouldn't consider being fair, and given us a fair hearing and a fair chance of getting a vote," he declared.

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," he added.

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