By Nick Harris
2 December 2010
With only Russia still left to make their 2018 World Cup bid presentation, England remain favourites to win the right to host the event, with their odds coming in slightly after a slick presentation here featuring David Beckham, PM David Cameron and Prince William. All the presentations can be watched / rewatched at the Fifa link here.
The most fluid market to monitor the bids’ chances – and England face competition from Russia, Portugal-Spain and Belgium-Netherlands for 2018 – is Betfair.
At 10am this morning UK time, just before England presented their bid at Fifa House, £409,637 had collectively been matched on the different 2018 hosts, with £213,000 of that on England alone, followed by £131,000 on Russia and £55,000 on Spain.
This made England evens favourites, Russia 2-1, Spain 5-1 and Belgium-Netherlands 47-1 outsiders.
England’s odds tightened very slightly during the presentation, and at the time of writing, of the £57,000 matched during England’s pitch, £39,000 went on England.
The 22-man Fifa Executive Committee will vote on the hosts of 2018 and 2022 this afternoon, with a result expected at 4pm local time, 3pm UK time. The race is perceived to remain wide open. If anyone in world football has certain knowledge of a stitch-up in the vote, it isn’t being reflected yet in the betting markets.