Despite all the negative publicity surrounding the Panorama programme and newspaper allegations of past indiscretions within FIFA, England have been backed to win the race to host the 2018 World Cup
22 FIFA executive committee members will cast their votes in Switzerland on Thursday (Crunchsports will have coverage of the vote as it happens) and David Cameron, David Beckham and Prince William have been campaigning for support in Zurich this week.
Bookmakers have reported that punters are backing the trio to swing things England's way again and although still behind Russia in the betting, England's odds of topping the polls have been shortening rapidly over the last 24 hours as they move ahead of Spain and Portugal in this market.
bet365 spokesman Steve Freeth told Crunchsports: "Beckham famously saved the Three Lions with his free-kick against Greece in 2001 and punters are listening to what he’s saying off the pitch because we’re now seeing an avalanche of bets for England to host 2018.
"We also think that England have a great chance and we’re happy to be best price about Russia."
Coral's David Stevens added: "England's bid looked dead and buried after Monday's Panorama and their odds drfited out to 7/2, but since the big guns of David Cameron, David Beckham and Prince William arrived in Zurich, there has been a real belief that the bid team can turn things around, and all the money in the last 24 hours has been for England."
Paddy Power are also feeling positive, with spokesman Darren Haines saying: "Punters are coming back for England, perhaps in the belief the Panorama programme wasn’t quite the own goal that everybody had feared.
"The betting is really cranking up now though for what should be a fascinating final 24 hours of lobbying."