David Beckham has met with FIFA president Sepp Blatter and vice-president Jack Warner as part of England’s campaign to promote their bid to host the 2018 World Cup finals.
Lord Triesman, the bid and FA chairman, was alongside Beckham and said afterwards: “We had some excellent meetings today including with the FIFA president Sepp Blatter and with FIFA vice-president Jack Warner.
“David was hugely impressive in those meetings. It is clear that legacy is central to the hopes of FIFA and any successful bid. This area is one of David’s great passions and will be integral to our bid.”
Beckham told Blatter of his delight to be in South Africa, having felt honoured to meet the country’s former president Nelson Mandela on a previous visit.
Beckham told FIFA’s website: “It was a very relaxed, light-hearted conversation and it was good to speak to him. Mr Blatter is not just the FIFA president and a powerful man in football, but he’s a very, very good person as well, which is more important.
“When I was last here with England, I had the honour of meeting Nelson Mandela. That was the highlight of my career; to meet such a great man and a strong man and such a passionate man about sport and life will always stay with me.”
Warner said afterwards: “It was a good meeting – some pleasant chit-chat and he asked my advice on how best to proceed in the bid, which I was happy to give.”