Sponsors stand behind England 2018 bid despite scandal

Sponsors of the team leading England’s 2018 FIFA World Cup bid have vowed to continue their support despite allegations that former chairman Lord Triesman accused rival nations of planning to bribe officials.

Lord Triesman has resigned his post after a Sunday newspaper recorded him accusing rivals Spain and Russia of planning to bribe referees. FIFA now plans an investigation into the affair.

The allegations could damage England’s chances of hosting the 2018 World Cup ahead of a vote by FIFA members in December.

Despite the controversy, England 2018 partners BT, Morrisons and npower told Marketing Week that they continue to support the bid.

Npower marketing director Kevin Peake says the energy supplier remains “completely committed” to the cause. “We’ll continue to do everything we can to make this happen,” he adds.

Morrisons marketing director Michael Bates says: “It is now more important than ever to demonstrate the strength of public enthusiasm for England to host the tournament.”

The bid was seen to be stabilising after accusations last year of in-fighting and an observation from FIFA vice-president Jack Warner that it was “lightweight”.

The Football Association has apologised to FIFA and the football associations of Russia and Spain. It has also appointed former FA chairman and FIFA and UEFA executive committee member Geoff Thompson to replace Lord Triesman.

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