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Becks as England captain could win Caribbean FIFA vote

London, May 31 : David Beckham is a shock contender to be named England captain for today's friendly against Trinidad and Tobago.

According to The Independent, the game has been arranged so that the Football Association can secure the vote of the Caribbean nation's influential grandee Jack Warner for its 2018 World Cup bid, and Beckham making a token return to the captaincy is regarded as a way of winning over FIFA.

Beckham quit the England captaincy after elimination from the 2006 World Cup and made his comeback to the team only when Steve McClaren recalled him against Germany in August.

Warner is the president of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and is one of only 24 men who will vote on who will host the 2018 World Cup. He has already been pictured meeting Beckham off the team plane in the local press.

Although Fabio Capello is not given to cheap publicity stunts, a one-match captaincy for Beckham would enable Warner, who was involved in a 2006 World Cup ticketing scandal, to be seen glad-handing the most famous footballer on the planet.

The England manager is thought to be considering the idea. He has given Steven Gerrard, Rio Ferdinand and John Terry the chance to prove themselves as potential long-term captains.

Beckham won his 101st cap against the United States on Wednesday and will be a key part of the FA's 2018 World Cup bid as it develops over the next few years.

His popularity in the Caribbean was obvious at an open training session in Port of Spain yesterday when the locals met his every touch with applause and cheers.

Capello has given his players no indication yet who will get the final chance to audition for the role of captain tomorrow - before he makes his decision for the Czech Republic friendly on August 20.

Story first published: Saturday, May 31, 2008, 16:47 [IST]
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