Gazza: Beckham Can Atone for World Cup Blunder

LONDON - Former England international Paul Gascoigne believes David Beckham can earn World Cup redemption and help England prosper at next year's finals in South Korea and Japan. England have been drawn in group F for the tournament alongside Nigeria, Sweden and Argentina.

Beckham, the England captain and Manchester United midfielder, was sent off against Argentina in England's second-round defeat on penalties at France 98. He was vilified on his return to England by critics who claim his action - a petulant kick at Diego Simeone - cost England further progress.

"I'm pleased for Beckham ... he's been brilliant and it gives him a chance to put things right against Argentina," Gascoigne told Sky Sports television after helping Everton beat Southampton 2-0 in the English premier league yesterday. England's group for the finals is widely accepted as the toughest section of the draw. The top two teams qualify for the second round.

But Gascoigne, who won 57 caps for his country, added: "I think we'll go through. "We've got some great players and we've done really well under (England coach) Sven Goran Eriksson."