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Sunday, Nov. 28, 2010

Cameron criticizes BBC for probe

LONDON (AP) British Prime Minister David Cameron has joined criticism of a BBC investigation into FIFA because it could potentially harm England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup.

Cameron said a BBC Panorama documentary set to be broadcast three days before Thursday's vote to decide the hosts of the 2018 and '22 tournaments could hurt England's efforts to hold the competition for the first time since 1966.

The timing of the investigation into corruption at world soccer's governing body has already been called unpatriotic by bid chief executive Andy Anson.

"I've obviously spoken about these issues with FIFA delegates," Cameron said in an interview with the BBC to be broadcast Saturday. "Is it frustrating that Panorama's doing this program a few days before? Of course it is.

"But it's a free country and you have to roll with that. I think FIFA will understand that and I think we also have to try and convince them — yes, we've got a robust and independent media, but our media love football and when it comes to the World Cup in terms of audience, in terms of the press coverage around the world, actually the media will give it a fantastic boost here in this country."

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