Blatter to receive invitation to No 10

The Prime Minister David Cameron is to invite the president of Fifa, Sepp Blatter, to Downing Street later in the year following confirmation that he will miss next week's visit from the World Cup inspection team due to a family holiday.

Cameron advised Blatter that he would not be around and Blatter is believed to have assured Cameron it would not have a negative effect on the bid. Instead, the bid team, led by the president of the Chilean FA, Harold Mayne-Nicholls, will be hosted by the deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

"David Cameron spoke to Sepp Blatter yesterday to discuss the Government's plans for the visit," said a statement released by the 2018 bid team. "During the conversation the Prime Minister reiterated his personal, and the coalition Government's, full support for England's bid."

England face opposition from combined bids by Spain and Portugal and the Netherlands and Belgium, plus the United States. But it is believed the major opposition will come from Russia, who have gained momentum since launching their bid last year. The final decision will be made by the 22-man Fifa executive in Zurich on 2 December.

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