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By ESPN Staff

Andy Cole drafted in for 2018 bid

England's 2018 World Cup bid leaders have drafted in Andrew Cole to help impress Manchester United fan and key FIFA executive committee member Amos Adamu.

Cole, the former United striker will join bid chairman Lord Triesman at a meeting with Adamu in Abuja, Nigeria, on Tuesday when the FIFA member will be shown England's formal bid presentation for the first time.

Adamu is one of the most important of the 24 FIFA executive members in that, as no African nation is bidding, he is effectively neutral. Bid leaders arranged for him to meet David Beckham in Cape Town last week.

Cole, who will also visit a local school in Abuja, said: ''I understand Dr Adamu is a big Manchester United fan so look forward to talking about the club with him during our meeting about England 2018. It will also be good to hear his thoughts about the Super Eagles as I will be looking out for them during the World Cup this summer.''

Cole and Triesman will also be accompanied by England 2018's director of campaign operations, Jane Bateman.

Triesman added: ''We are enormously grateful to Dr Adamu for giving us the time to discuss our bid with him. It will further develop our understanding of what we need to do to stage a tournament that would be good for the game all over the world.''

Meanwhile, the final presentations to determine which cities will become part of England's FIFA World Cup bid began on Monday.

Each of the 15 hopeful cities will be given an hour to present their case and be questioned by the bid's selection panel. Each city has had two technical inspections and been assessed on a number of criteria including contractual commitment, stadium suitability, fan parks, security and legacy plans. The announcement of the selected cities will be made on Wednesday afternoon.

England 2018 deputy chairman Lord Mawhinney, who is head of the selection panel, said: ''The selection panel's job over the next three days is a tough one. FIFA's technical standards understandably are very high and it is vital we are as thorough as possible right through to the end of the process.''


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