London, Mar 23 (ANI): Ace midfielder David Beckham will play an important role in England winning the bid to host the 2018 World Cup, says Danny Jordaan, the head of this year's tournament.
Beckham's presence in South Africa this summer could prove a decisive factor for England even though he has been ruled out from playing through injury.
The chief executive of South Africa 2010 said he expected Beckham to accept England manager Fabio Capello's offer to travel with the squad for the World Cup.
"I think David Beckham will still come. There is already an indication that he will be part of the [backroom] team and also England is making a bid for 2018 and I'm sure that the bid team will use him during the World Cup. He's an important factor," The Telegraph quoted Jordaan, as saying.
"We saw when he went into Khayelitsha [the Cape Town township] for the draw in December, the excitement of the youngsters because he is an important figure in football. I think England's 2018 committee understand he is a major factor in their bid and if he's not able to play then he will have more time available to help the bid process."
Beckham is already a bid ambassador for 2018 and Jordaan added that he felt England had a "realistic" chance of being successful.
With just 80 days to go now, Jordaan conceded that there would be fewer fans - around 100,000 fewer - attending than as originally estimated.
However, he dismissed claims that security fears and the lack of infrastructure - adequate transport links and accommodation - had led to fans' considering missing the event. (ANI)