Prince meets accused FIFA official to push England's World Cup bid
Published 01/12/2010 | 13:05
Prince William held a breakfast meeting this morning with Nicolas Leoz of Paraguay, one of the Fifa officials accused of accepting bribes by the BBC’s Panorama programme this week.
Leoz is one of four Fifa executive committee members the Prince has met since arriving in Zurich on Tuesday. He has also spent time with Rafael Salguero of Guatemala, Mohammed Bin Hammam of Qatar and Chuck Blazer of the United States.
Leoz, the president of the South American Conmebol confederation, was accused of accepting more than £700,000 from the collapsed Swiss marketing firm ISL.
Prince William’s schedule indicates the England 2018 campaign’s determination to put the Panorama issue behind them and convince even those potentially hostile to their chances that they should be a second or third preference.
The meetings with Salguero and Blazer, both members of the crucial Concacaf, also emphasises the importance of the bloc of three votes headed by Jack Warner.
England will need Concacaf support if they are to win here tomorrow, and it may even be crucial to their chances of getting out of the first round.
Prince Williams’s breakfast meeting with Leoz came after David Cameron left Zurich to return to London to take Prime Ministers Questions after meeting a total of seven executive committee members on Tuesday.
The Prime Minister met with Bin Hammam, Warner, Blazer, Fifa president Sepp Blatter, Jacques Anouma of the Ivory Coast, Issa Hayatou, who denies charges of bribery made by Panorama, and Marios Lefkaritis of Cyprus.
Weather-permitting Cameron will return to Zurich this evening for a further round of meetings aimed at maintaining the momentum established on Tuesday.
As yet there is no confirmation of whether Vladimir Putin will attend, but there was confirmation this morning that, as reported by the Daily Telegraph, his name has not been included on the official list of speakers circulated by Fifa.
The Portuguese, Belgian and Dutch prime ministers are all expected in Zurich today, with Spanish premier Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero also intending to come if the country’s gathering economic woes do not detain him in Madrid.
Former US president Bill Clinton is already in Zurich and will lead the America team when the 2022 presentations get underway at Fifa House this afternoon.
David Beckham has met with African delegates Issa Hayatou and Jacques Anouma, Chuck Blazer of the USA, Rafael Salguero and Mohamed Bin Hammam of Qatar.