David Beckham will coach footballers and coaches in Trinidad this weekend to help boost support for England’s World Cup bid.
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The Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder’s trip coincides with the final of the Under-17 women’s World Cup in Port-of-Spain, which will be attended by FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Vice President Jack Warner.
As president of the CONCACAF confederation, Warner holds one of the 24 votes on the FIFA executive committee, which will decide the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup in December.
England, which is in the running for either event, has pledged to invest in developing football globally in conjunction with Beckham’s academy.
"It is heartening to know that a man of such international stature remains committed to the development of talent worldwide," Warner said in a statement released Monday by England’s bid team. "This is a remarkable opportunity for the 200 participants. The fact that, despite his busy schedule, David has taken the time to open this festival, to share his knowledge with the children, is testament to his character."
Beckham pledged to make the trip when he met Warner in Cape Town last year. About 200 young players and coaches are set to attend the workshops.
"Trinidad and Tobago have produced some excellent players over the years and the islands are full of young people who love football," Beckham said. "I am really looking forward to seeing the young girls and boys from all backgrounds and their coaches at my academy.
"Encouraging young girls to play football has always been an important part of the thinking behind the academy and it will be great to take this opportunity to also see some of the world’s best young women play in the Under-17 final."