England have failed in their bid to host the 2018 World Cup, the tournament has been awarded to Russia, who will host the event for the first time. England had become the favourites to win the vote to host the competition.
The results of the vote were announced in Zurich by FIFA President Sepp Blatter. The will come as a great disappointment for many fans who were hoping England would stage the tournament for the first time since 1966, the year they won the trophy.
After the voting by the FIFA executive committee it became apparent that England had only secured two of the possible twenty-two votes, effectively winning only one vote as well as their own, and they were eliminated in the first round of voting. The competing countries of Holland and Belgium, Spain and Portugal and Russia progressed to a second round of voting where Russia secured the majority required to be awarded the tournament.
It was hoped that England would win the vote to host the competition, which can generate billions of pounds for the economy, as well as the prestige of hosting such a great competition. It is estimated that £463 million was spent preparing England’s bid.
Earlier in the day, each nation had made a final presentation, which was fronted by Prime Minister David Cameron, David Beckham and Prince William, for England, a presentation that was described by FIFA president Sepp Blatter as being both excellent and remarkable.
It is feared that England’s bid has been tarnished by recent media reports. A report in the Sunday Times resulted in six FIFA officials being suspended last month following allegations of corruption within footballs World governing body and the BBC’s Panorama programme made further allegations of corruption within FIFA and the voting process, just a few days ago. Earlier this year the chairman of England’s bid Lord Triesman resigned following allegations of collusion between other countries, the allegation was seen to be very damaging to the bid at that time.
The 2022 World Cup was awarded to Qatar, meaning that the next opportunity for England to host a World Cup would be in 2026 or 2030, which will disappoint many football loving fans throughout the country.