David Beckham is doing his bit to help out England’s World Cup 2018 bid. Russia were the favourites at the start of the day but their Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, today revealed that he will not be visiting Fifa’s headquarters in Zurich because of the ‘unscrupulous competition’. The final pitch is made on Thursday and it’s each country’s last opportunity to win vital votes, so Fifa will unlikely be impressed his no show and comments.

Beckham doesn’t think this means England have it in the bag though, claiming he knows they have to fight until the very last minute, just like he did with Manchester United.

“The last 24 hours can be the most important without a doubt,” said Beckham. “All the way through my career, especially for Manchester United, I’ve known how important it is to keep fighting to the last minute – especially in the biggest games I have played in. I know how important it is to keep going right up to the decision.”

United fans have an extra reason to care about this decision though. The South Stand is in desperate need of an increase, to lift the capacity to 90,000 and fill in the obvious gap which is missing around the stadium. Because of the railway line that runs behind the stadium, no concrete plans have ever been made because of the issues with planning permission.

However, if England were hosting the World Cup, I’m sure the FA could pull a few strings. Given this in an English bid, not a British bid, they wouldn’t be able to use the 74,500 seater Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

England – 2018?
Wembley – 90,000
Old Trafford – 75,957
Emirates – 60,355
St James Park – 52,387
Stadium of Light – 49,000

Brazil – 2014
Maracanã (Rio de Janeiro) – 76,525
Estádio Nacional de Brasília (Brasília) – 71,500
Mineirão (Belo Horizonte) – 69,950
Castelão (Fortaleza) – 66,700
Estádio Beira-Rio (Porto Alegre) – 62,000

South Africa – 2010
Soccer City (Johannesburg) – 84,490
Cape Town Stadium – 64,100
Moses Mabhida Stadium (Durban) – 62,760
Ellis Park Stadium (Johannesburg) – 55,686

Is out of the question that a railway line could be moved back so work could be completed on the South Stand?