25 February 2010
On David Dein’s first major trip as the “international president” of England’s 2018 World Cup bid, the former Arsenal vice-chairman will be joined by the former Tottenham winger and 1999 Footballer of the Year, David Ginola, as they seek to charm Fifa vice-president Jack Warner into rounding up Concacaf’s three votes for the 2018 event and passing them England’s way. The bid delegation will be led by chief executive Andy Anson, and include Dein, Ginola and director of operations for the bid, Jane Bateman, on a trip to Trinidad scheduled to run from tomorrow until Sunday.
During the trip, England 2018 will formally present their bid to Warner, a Fifa vice-president and the president of Concacaf on Friday in Port of Spain. Warner has also invited the delegation to the annual Caribbean Football Union (CFU) dinner on the 26 February and the CFU Congress on the 27February. Whilst in Trinidad, the delegation will visit Longdenville Cricket Club, where Ginola will stage a football coaching session for local youngsters. Anson said: “It is a real honour to attend the Caribbean Football Union Dinner and Congress and we thank Jack Warner for inviting us. It will provide excellent opportunities to discuss our bid and seek feedback from our friends in the Caribbean football community.”
The English FA has a long-standing relationship with the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football to help develop football in the region. In April 2000, the FA signed a co-operation agreement with Concacaf that committed the FA to a programme of assistance in the region. Since then, Concacaf member associations have benefited from an annual FA International Coaching Licence course as well as training in refereeing, marketing, administration, media relations and women’s football development. Of more relevance to the bid, England will want to secure a deal for support from Concacaf,which is ruled by Warner and includes fellow 2018 and 2022 bidders America. The USA and England could be important allies for each other in the complex horse trading of votes.