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DATELINE 2002 WORLD CUP / ENGLAND

Stirring Up a Frenzy Across the Pond

June 18, 2002|Jim Barrero

England's success at the World Cup has Prime Minister Tony Blair planning to juggle meetings at a European summit so he watch the team's quarterfinal match Friday against Brazil.

A leading British bookmaker, meanwhile, is slashing odds that England captain David Beckham will receive a knighthood within a year.

Madame Tussaud's has canceled plans to feature Beckham's wax likeness in Trafalgar Square--but only because his replica is too popular back at the museum.

Blair said he hopes to rearrange his schedule Friday at the European Council meeting in Seville, Spain.

"I have to say unfortunately I have to attend an international conference and so I'm desperately trying to scramble around looking for how I can refix the time," he said.

Bookies William Hill were also scrambling to slash the odds on whether Beckham will become Sir David within a year from 50-1 to 20-1. Hills said they have also taken bets on whether Brooklyn Beckham, Beckham's 3-year-old son, will grow up playing soccer for England and have cut the odds from 500-1 to 50-1.

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