SWC bidding process 'fixed'
Russias deputy prime minister Igor Shuvalov (AP)
London - The Soccer World Cup bidding process was branded a fix on Thursday night - as it emerged Russia knew the result 24 hours before it was announced, The Sun
Russia bid chief executive Alexey Sorokin was so confident he boldly told the England team in Zurich on Wednesday his country had enough votes in the bag.
And the claim by former Washington diplomat Sorokin proved to be spot on.
A source close to the bidding process said: "Sorokin clearly knew Russia had enough votes and he told the English that."
England went out in round one with two votes - one from our own man, one could have been from Japan - while Russia eased home in round two with 13 votes.
The shock claim makes a mockery of yesterday's presentations when Prince William, the Prime Minister and David Beckham were part of a five-man team pleading England's case.
Sorokin's boast came on the back of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin proclaiming he would not attend the event because of 'unscrupulous competition'.
That was apparently a reference to English media investigations into FIFA's executive committee.
Spain's delegate Angel Maria Villar Llona tried to denigrate England's bid by telling fellow members of his outrage at the attacks on FIFA's integrity.
And he repeated this in the official Spain/Portugal presentation saying: "You've heard enough slander in the media. This process is clean."
But Russia had earlier claimed Spain did a deal with Qatar so they got 2018 and Qatar got 2022. Qatar won the 2022 vote but Spain lost out.