Prince William denies using royal wedding invite as World Cup bribe

Prince William's spokesman today rejected claims by a FIFA member that he was invited to the Royal wedding as an enticement to vote for England's 2018 World Cup bid.

Nicolas Leoz, the Paraguayan who is president of the South American confederation CONMEBOL, claimed he received the invitation the day before the December 2 vote when he had a breakfast meeting in Zurich with William, who is president of the FA.

Clarence House spokesman Paddy Harverson today insisted no invitations had been given to any FIFA members.

Harverson told Press Association Sport: "No one from FIFA was offered an invitation to the wedding in return for their vote, I can categorically state that."

Leoz was quoted in the Paraguayan press as saying: "I was invited on the occasion of our recent meeting [in December]." Leoz said he was "unfortunately" not able to attend due to the congress of the CONMEBOL in his home city Asuncion.

Harverson said there had been some banter about William's forthcoming wedding during lobbying for England 2018 but no invitations were issued.

Immediately after the vote, which was won by Russia, Prime Minister David Cameron revealed a jocular exchange between himself and William after the prince had met a FIFA executive committee member.

Cameron said: "He said it had gone really, really well. I said: 'Gosh, how did you do it? What did you offer him, an invitation to the wedding?' He said: 'Prime Minister, I went so far I think I offered to marry him!'."

In 2008, 82-year-old Leoz was named by fraud investigators in Switzerland as having received bribes totalling £65,000 from collapsed TV rights company ISL. No action has ever been taken against him by FIFA.

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