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By ESPN Staff

Platini: Sustained FIFA criticism may hurt England bid

Michel Platini has warned that England's 2018 World Cup bid is more at risk from the British media's years of criticising FIFA rather than recent investigations.

There have been fears that the Sunday Times and BBC Panorama probes into the world governing body have damaged England's bid but Platini, UEFA president and a FIFA vice-president, said the problem is long-standing.

He also believes most of the 22 FIFA executive committee members who will vote on the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts on December 2 have already made up their mind.

Platini told The Independent: "I don't think it's a problem. These investigations are just people doing their job, no?

"If they [the England bid] do not have a good feeling about FIFA, that's nothing to do with these investigations, but that comes from what the English press have been writing about FIFA for very many years. That could be a problem for the bid. But this? No.

"Anyway, I think people have already decided which way they are voting."

Six officials were banned on Thursday for between one and four years for a number of offences resulting out of the Sunday Times investigation.

Nigeria's Amos Adamu became the first FIFA member ever to be banned for bribery - he was suspended for three years.

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