Berlin - Football-mad Germany on Saturday expressed sympathy for England's failed 'perfect' bid to host the 2018 World Cup after the event was awarded to Russia by FIFA, world football's governing body.
In an open letter to England titled 'You'll Never Cry Alone', German daily Die Welt said England's application had been hindered by allegations in the British media of corruption amongst FIFA's executive committee.
England's bid to host the event for the first time since 1966 crashed out in the first round in Zurich after receiving just two votes - one of them from Englishman Geoff Thompson - as the 2018 World Cup went to the Russians.
With the British media furious about the decision, the bid's chief executive Andy Anson has even warned his country against bidding for the World Cup again until the decision process changes.
Anson also said he was told by FIFA that reports in the British media of corruption amongst FIFA's executive committee had harmed their bid, prompting Die Welt to express their sympathy.
"England has been abused by FIFA because it has papers that told the truth," wrote German journalist Stefan Frommann with the letter published in both English and German.
"You feel cheated because Russia has been successful and not you.
"Your application was perfection and the committee you sent to Zurich was as good as it gets.
"They won hearts and minds, captured imaginations. It was as if Picasso, Michelangelo and van Gogh had joined talents to paint a picture.
"But because the British press did the job a free press is supposed to do and exposed FIFA's corruption, nobody wanted to see the painting.
"Two votes - that's all you got. I only hope that the second vote - after that of your own delegate - came from Franz Beckenbauer."
The letter sympathises with the angry calls coming from England and even labelled FIFA 'greedy'.
"I feel your pain and your anger," wrote Frommann.
"As the German poet of the Enlightenment, G.E. Lessing, remarked, the cultures of Germany and England have much in common.
"The love of poetry, music, beer and football, for instance.
"And now we are bound together by our common distaste for a corrupt World Football Association and its insatiable greed for money."