World Cup bid remains strong says Coe

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The Independent Football

Sebastian Coe has reiterated his belief that the Lord Triesman affair has not inflicted terminal damage on England's 2018 World Cup bid.

England's hopes were dealt a blow following allegations Triesman accused the Spanish and Russian football federations of bribery.

The 66-year-old resigned as bid chairman - he also quit the same role with the Football Association - with Geoff Thompson, the British FIFA vice-president, named as his replacement.

Coe, chairman of the London 2012 Olympics, is on the 2018 bid board and insists England's bid remains strong.

"I don't think anybody anywhere in the world, including FIFA, doubts that we have anything other than the great ability to deliver a fantastic World Cup," Coe told BBC Breakfast.

"This does not become a bad bid overnight."

FIFA will announce the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, with the former anticipated to go to Europe, on December 2.

Coe, who masterminded London 2012's successful bid to host the Olympic Games, said the bidding process is fraught with ups and downs.

"I understand campaigns," he added.

"We were bidding to stage an Olympic Games for the best part of three years.

"Campaigns are marathons, they're not sprints.

"There's rarely anything that is so serious or so great that you are permanently derailed or you jump across the line in one foul swoop.

"You have to be consistent with your messages. What is the consistent message we will be pumping between now and the vote in Zurich is that we have stadiums in place that are extraordinary, we have passionate fans, we have a marketplace for football."