Triesman given 2018 bid warning

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The Independent Football

England's 2018 World Cup bid leaders have been warned that more effort needs to be made to get the campaign back on track.

Board members made it clear to Lord Triesman, chairman of the FA and the bid, at a meeting this week that the FA need to re-focus the campaign or risk losing out.

A number of bid figures believe that the campaign has reached a critical point following FIFA vice-president Jack Warner's blast last week, and with controversy still rumbling on over funding.

Comparisons were also drawn between the 2018 campaign and London's successful 2012 Olympic bid.

One board member told Press Association Sport: "The message was made clear at the board meeting that a lot more work needs to be put into the bid, and the FA need to decide how they are going to do this."

Pressure is also building on bid leaders to justify their salaries.

Triesman is the FA chairman but is being paid £100,000 extra a year to be bid chairman on a part-time basis - two days a week - while his deputy Lord Mawhinney, the chairman of the Football League, gets £36,000 for his part-time 2018 duties.

Baroness Amos, who stepped down this week as a board member, was being paid £20,000 but all the other directors including Lord Sebastian Coe, Sir Keith Mills and Manchester United chief executive David Gill have decided not to take any payment.

The FA have put £10million into the bid, on the understanding that the Government would contribute £5million as they did for the previous campaign for the 2006 tournament.

The Government, despite having championed the bid from the outset, are now only offering a £2.5million loan that must be paid back whether or not it is successful.

The view in Whitehall is that the cash-rich Premier League should dip into their coffers for the remainder.

Meanwhile, FIFA president Sepp Blatter has been talking up one of England's biggest rivals, Russia.

Blatter was in Moscow on Wednesday to meet Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and afterwards the FIFA president was quoted as saying the country had a "very good chance" of hosting the 2018 or 2022 tournaments.

Russian news agency RIA Novosti also quoted Blatter as saying: "I believe that the World Cup should leave a legacy, and this idea is coming to life here in Russia. That is why I feel a whole-hearted affinity for the Russian bid."