Capello to help England's push for 2018 WCup votes

Published Nov. 26, 2010 1:05 a.m. ET

England coach Fabio Capello will draw on contacts cultivated during almost 50 years in soccer to help the country's late scramble for votes for the 2018 World Cup.

England's bid is on the back foot ahead of the Dec. 2 vote by FIFA's executive committee amid fears that a BBC investigation into the bidding process could deter voters after it is broadcast Monday.

Capello will be part of England's delegation in Zurich that also features Prince William, former national team captain David Beckham and 1966 World Cup winner Bobby Charlton.

''I've worked in three countries, Italy, Spain and England ... and I know a lot of people because I started to play professionally when I was 18 and now I am 64,'' Capello said. ''I look forward to meeting them. I will tell them this is the country where football was born - it is important ... England is the home of football and for this reason you have to sometimes consider this.

''It's the best country to host the World Cup - simple.''

England hasn't hosted the World Cup since 1966 and is competing with Russia and joint bids from Spain-Portugal and Netherlands-Belgium.

Capello, who took charge of England in 2008, is convinced that the standard of the country's stadiums exceeds those found elsewhere in Europe.


''In Spain, not all the stadiums are the properties of the clubs,'' the former AC Milan, Roma and Real Madrid coach said. ''Here you can find everything ... the infrastructure is at the top.

''Another thing that is really important is the security of the stadiums. The stewards are really important here because all the clubs own their own stadiums.''

Despite being regularly being criticized by the English media since the team's poor showing at the World Cup in June, Capello has been amazed at how tolerant the country is.

''England is a multiethnic country and all the countries that play here will find people from their own countries born here, or like Italians in the USA will be at home,'' the former Italy midfielder said. ''It is easier to integrate with other people because you can find ... a lot of people historically come here from other countries - from the Commonwealth, historic things.''