Coe: Final presentations key to bid success

ZURICH - The final presentations by the bidding nations attempting to win the right to stage the World Cup finals can be decisive, Sebastian Coe said before they started on Tuesday.

Coe, who overcame the odds and masterminded London's successful campaign to secure the 2012 Summer Olympic Games with a powerful speech to International Olympic Committee delegates in Singapore in 2005, is working on behalf of England's bid to stage the 2018 World Cup finals.

England are bidding against Russia and joint-bids from Spain/Portugal and Netherlands/Belgium for the 2018 finals while United States, Qatar, South Korea, Japan and Australia are battling to stage the 2022 finals.

The 2022 contenders are making their final bids to FIFA's executive committee members on Wednesday and Thursday and Coe explained why they are so important.

"They really are vital. As bidding processes become more sophisticated, the messaging and skill sets get better, the reach is greater, everything is more important than it was 30 years ago."

Recalling his speech in Singapore, Coe explained: "There were IOC delegates who said to me after the vote that they thought they were voting one way, and they actually shifted their ground during the presentations.

"I think it can happen here. There may well be ExCo members who think they are absolutely fixed in their view, and this is where they are going to go but a really strong presentation, with a really clear messages and some emotional appeal can make a difference."

Coe, naturally, wants the England bid to succeed and said that members of the England bid campaign had watched DVDs of what happened in Singapore and had taken advice from Coe himself.

He agreed that a bad final presentation could also undo years of campaigning.

"Yes, you can shoot yourself in the foot. You can damage yourself, but you have to find a balance because you don't want to become completely risk adverse and supine."