LONDON - Sebastian Coe, the driving force behind London's successful bid for the 2012 Olympics, will add his weight to England's campaign to host the 2018 or 2022 soccer World Cup, the FA said on Wednesday. Coe has accepted an invitation to become a non-executive Board member of the World Cup bidding company. The double Olympic 1500 metres gold medallist will remain chairman of the 2012 Games organising committee (LOCOG) and will continue in his role as vice president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). However, he will temporarily step down from his position as chairman of FIFA's ethics committee. England last hosted the World Cup in 1966 and are among 13 countries who have expressed an interest in hosting the 2018 or 2022 tournaments, including two joint bids. FIFA will make its decision on the hosts for both tournaments in December 2010. Coe, a lifelong Chelsea fan, told the FA website: "I am passionate about football so am delighted to be standing alongside many other people and football greats up and down the country in bidding for this event. "Winning the football World Cup would be the hat-trick in a golden era for sport in the UK following the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014." David Triesman, chairman of the FA and the England 2018 bid campaign, added: "I firmly believe that making Lord Coe a member of our Executive Board significantly enhances our chances of success. "Lord Coe is a highly regarded international sports ambassador who is not only passionate about football but also commands great respect in the global football community. "His experiences in leading the successful London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic bid and generating a wealth of domestic and international support will be invaluable to us. "He is also held in high esteem by the FIFA football family and this, coupled with his London 2012 success, means he is a tremendous addition to the Board and to the 2018 team in general." Coe thanked FIFA president Sepp Blatter for allowing him a temporary leave of absence from the ethics committeea. A FIFA spokesman said an interim successor to Coe would be named in due course, adding: "It is obviously not possible for the chairman of the ethics committee to also be involved in one of the bids". Coe was put in charge of the ethics committee following its creation in September 2006. Part of the ethics committee's work involves helping set the rules of the World Cup bidding process. ENGLAND FANS! Check FourFourTwo.com’s ever-expanding interviews section for more stuff to read: One on One Kevin Keegan, Sven-Göran Eriksson, David Beckham, Michael Owen, Paul Gascoigne, Ian Wright Web Exclusives Gary Lineker, Paul Gascoigne, Glenn Hoddle, Wayne Rooney, Q&A Fabio Capello, Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott Perfect XI Ian Wright Boy's A Bit Special Theo Walcott, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Michael Mancienne, David Wheater Ask A Silly Question Sir Geoff Hurst, Alan Ball, Bryan Robson, Peter Crouch, John Barnes, Peter Reid, My Secret Vice Jimmy Bullard What Happened Next? Carlton Palmer Perfect XI Sir Bobby Charlton, Graham Taylor, Bryan Robson
18 February 2009
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