London, Nov 5: England`s 2018 World Cup bid has suffered a blow after a British daily investigation into the bidding process, according to a key member of the campaign team.
A member of the Fifa executive committee had previously claimed that there would be no backlash against England.
But it now seems that the Sunday Times probe into two members of the committee has left England with a tough task ahead of the vote on December 2.
"It has significantly harmed England`s bid," a senior member told BBC Sport.
With four weeks to go to the decision, England`s bid team has not given up all hope of turning the situation around.
Senior sources said that the prospect of any future media investigations into the conduct of Fifa officials, including a potential Panorama programme on the BBC could be fatal for their chances.
One member of the bid team told the BBC: "The question is: can we recover from this? Fifa members feel they are being persecuted by the British media. It isn`t dead and the next two or three weeks will be delicate but England`s bid has been damaged and it`s going to take a lot of hard work to repair that damage."
One move being considered by England`s bid is to ask all the editors of the national newspapers and broadcasters to write to Fifa declaring their support for the 2018 bid, the BBC reports.