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Drogba turning back the clock

Chelsea 18 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Mar 5, 2011

England tried Qatar alliance - report

England's failed 2018 World Cup bid tried to secure a voting alliance with Qatar by using the Duke of York's relationship with the Qatari royal family, according to a BBC report.

The BBC claimed a freedom of information request had revealed diplomats and the Football Association sought to build an alliance with Qatar to help England's bid.

England's bid to host the tournament gained just two votes as it was eliminated in the first round, while Qatar's bid for the 2022 World Cup was successful.

According to the BBC report, correspondence from foreign office and embassy officials in Qatar said the support of the Emir of Qatar would be crucial to England's chances.

The report said a plan was discussed to use the influence of the Duke of York, the United Kingdom's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment since 2001, to gain a voting alliance.

The BBC said the Duke of York's press office had denied any lobbying with Qatar took place and that the FA had declined to comment.

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