Hopes that a successful English bid to host the 2018 football World Cup could provide a massive boost for hotels were teetering on the brink this week following a scandal involved former Football Association chairman Lord Triesman.
Lord Triesman was forced to step down both from his post as FA chairman and as chairman of the bid after unguarded comments he made about rival bids in a private conversation came to light in the Mail on Sunday.
Despite a swift damage-limitation exercise by the FA, football's world governing body Fifa referred Triesman's false allegations about Spain seeking the assistance of Russia to bribe referees at this summer's World Cup to its ethics committee.
The move has prompted football insiders to comment that England's bid has been "destroyed".
Earlier this year David Hornby, an official with the 2018 bid, told an audience at the Master Innholders' 17th annual hotel general mangers' conference that the World Cup could be even more lucrative than the 2012 Olympics.
Hornby, who is responsible for accommodation, hospitality, ticketing and events for England's bid, said that the 31-day event, involving 64 matches across 12 cities, would have a bedroom requirement of 160,000 per night.
"It could result in the biggest hotel room allocation ever to be secured," he said.
A final decision on the 2018 hosts will be made in December. Russia and Spain/Portugal are expected to be England's main rivals.
By Neil Gerrard
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