David Beckham rocked by death of grandfather on 2018 trip
David Beckham shows off his MBE wife, Victoria, and his maternal grandparents, Joseph and Peggy West
However, it is understood that the player will remain in Cape Town to fulfill his duties as an ambassador for the campaign team and will take part in the World Cup draw on Friday.
David Beckham has been rocked by the death of his grandfather on his trip to South Africa to boost England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup.
Beckham was very close to Joseph West, with the 83-year-old having had a formative influence on the early part of the player's career. West was father to Beckham's mother, Sandra, and had been suffering from a serious illness.
Beckham's presence in Cape Town is seen as important to the prospects of England's campaign and his family are believed to have urged him to stay on in the city, with the world football elite having gathered there for the finals draw.
Beckham and Lord Triesman, the FA and bid chairman, met Sepp Blatter, the Fifa president today. The player was scheduled to visit a township tomorrow and take part in an Expo event for bidding countries on Friday morning ahead of the draw that night. He is one of several celebrities involved in the ceremony.
Blatter said yesterday that Beckham is "a good guy for big days" who "has a personal charisma that very few players have", making him a key asset for England's troubled bid.
Poor David, my heart goes out to him. It's very brave of him to stay in SA when I bet he wants nothing more than to be with his family.
Fifa warns Maradona to stay away from World Cup draw
The coaches of the 31 other countries, including Fabio Capello, will be in attendance at Friday’s draw at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, but Maradona is not permitted to attend, having been banned by Fifa from all football activities for two months as punishment for his foul-mouthed outburst at journalists following Argentina’s qualification in October.
Rumours over the past 48 hours have suggested that Maradona, one of the greatest players of all time, would defy Fifa by flying to Cape Town and arriving at the draw – perhaps even by applying for accreditation as a journalist representing an Argentine television station.
But Jerome Valcke, the Fifa general secretary, said this morning: “We have been very clear. If Diego Maradona asks for Fifa accreditation, no way. Maradona has been banned for all football activities by our disciplinary committee for two months.
“We have heard some rumours that he could join the Argentina delegation, but I have sent a letter to tell him to be aware that he is banned. If Diego Maradona arrives now as a journalist for a media company, his accreditation will not be accepted.”