England humiliated in vote

2010-12-03 08:09

Zurich - Despite boasting a potent campaign of princely and football royalty, England's run for the 2018 Soccer World Cup ended in humiliating failure on Thursday.

On the eve of the Zurich vote, Prince William and David Beckham worked late into the night with Prime Minister David Cameron lobbying for support. Still, the English only managed to receive two votes and were eliminated in the opening round.

One of those votes - after spending 15 million pounds ($23 million) during two years of bidding - came from Geoff Thompson, the country's only representative on FIFA's executive committee.

"I cannot believe what has happened," said Thompson, who also served as the England bid chairperson. "The votes that were promised clearly didn't materialise. I never imagined we would go out in the first round."

Of all the bids, England had mounted the most visible campaign, regularly wheeling out Beckham - arguably the game's biggest star - and pledging to spend millions of pounds on grass roots football around the world.

But voters chose Russia in the second round, which also featured bids from Spain-Portugal and Netherlands-Belgium.

England bid chief executive Andy Anson said the country is isolated in the game it helped to invent.

"Geoff Thompson has battled well for us but is kind of stuck out there on his own at FIFA not really integrated into the fabric of football," Anson said. "If we want these competitions we have to integrate ourselves more readily into these organisations.

"We have the strongest league in the world, we are very, very strong domestically and therefore we've not always seen the need to do it."

Cameron was surprised by the slight, especially after FIFA President Sepp Blatter said England had the infrastructure to host the tournament almost immediately.

"No one could identify any risks of coming to England," said Cameron, who flew to Zurich for the bid presentation. "I think we had the strongest commercial bid and the country is passionate about football, but it turns out that's not enough."

The central problem with England's bid may have been that it constantly gave the impression of being in firefighting mode, lurching from crisis to crisis.

One of the lowest points came days after the bid book was handed into FIFA in May. Football Association chairman David Triesman was forced to resign after being recorded by a newspaper making unproven claims that Spain and Russia set up a bribery scam to influence referees at the World Cup.

"I thought we had a really resilient bid and thought every time we got a knock we got back up and we started fighting," Anson said.

But on Monday the BBC aired a documentary - against the bid's wishes - that claimed three executive committee members took secret payments related to marketing deals in the past.

The Sunday Times of London had already antagonised FIFA with an undercover probe that led to two executives being implicated in a vote-selling scandal. They were subsequently suspended from duty.

"The odd member mentioned the allegations," Beckham said. "(But) everything was looking positive ... we got very good feelings from all the members that we met."

But the former England captain later wrote on his Facebook page that he had "heard the rumors that we lost due to the British press."

"I hope that isn't the reason," Beckham said. "I believe in a free press and they are incredibly supportive of the game I love."

Dejected supporters in London, though, turned their anger on the domestic media.

"I blame Panorama and I blame the BBC," said 20-year-old student Salim Kassam, who lives near Wembley Stadium. "Everyone here expected England to get it."


  • Sim4891 - 2010-12-03 08:20

    I imagine it's because of the hooliganism in the UK. Some of the fans may have ruined it for the rest. English fans have a very bad reputation.

      savage182 - 2010-12-03 08:33

      when was the last time you heard of hooliganism? are you living in the 80's?

      Conde_Nast - 2010-12-03 09:06

      Hooliganism? Like when? 15 years ago? It's not unlike anywhere else in the world.

      Zolani - 2010-12-03 09:30

      The carling cup This Wednesday, The one teams hooligan supporters ran across the field to fight with The opposition team that was 48 hour ago.

      Zolani - 2010-12-03 09:32

      a flare was thrown at Aston Villa supporters during a violent pitch invasion on the eve of England's bid to stage the 2018 World Cup. The Premier League club said it was extremely disappointed at the "embarrassing" disorder following the Carling Cup quarter-final, which also saw seats ripped up. Dozens of police and stewards struggled to contain home supporters who flooded on to the playing surface after Birmingham's 2-1 victory. A flare was thrown at Villa supporters before being thrown back on to the pitch and damage was also caused to a nearby pub and cars parked near the ground.

      Zolani - 2010-12-03 09:35

      Birmingham manager Alex McLeish condemned the trouble, saying it reminded him of the "Dark Ages", but claimed it would not affect the World Cup vote. He told Sky Sports 1: "I don't think that will affect the World Cup bid, I'm sure that's already decided, and let's hope England gets it because it deserves it." West Midlands Ambulance Service said 27 people were treated by ambulance staff after trouble before and after the match. Two police dogs were also injured when they were struck by missiles. A spokesman said: "Those treated suffered a variety of injuries to their head, leg and arms. Of these, two men were taken to hospital; one, a 43-year-old man, was initially unconscious after suffering a head injury. The other man had a leg injury.

      nixearle - 2010-12-03 11:24

      If you have lived in the UK or even just visited during any of their big matches you will know that there is plenty of hooliganism still going on. There are many pubs that won't allow people to wear football jerseys because of it all! Some of you pretty naive if you think otherwise..

      pointblankza - 2010-12-03 11:36

      @Conde_Nast, actually they invaded the pitch a few days ago.

  • O'Mally - 2010-12-03 08:20

    England have no idea how fortunate they are. FIFA are the only winners in football world cup hostings. Mafia crooks.

      Observer - 2010-12-03 10:29

      Agreed! But, it was a lot of fun when it was happening here.

  • katman - 2010-12-03 08:25

    Just like survivor. Thought the votes were in the bag, but turns out everyone was talking behind your back. England, the tribe has spoken.

  • FuzzyStorm - 2010-12-03 08:36

    Just rewards for you Poms, after whinging and whining to everybody that SA could not host the 2010 world cup.

      nixearle - 2010-12-03 11:26

      Haha well said! They are bunch of children who just moan all the time..

  • Abs - 2010-12-03 08:37

    They dug their own hole and now they want to cry, sorry chaps but i dont feel any sympathy for them here. Well done Russia and Qatar!

  • bill - 2010-12-03 08:43

    The sooner Blatter and his cronies are investigated the better.He is a devious double -dealing son of a bitch and we need to establish how much his organisation still owes us.

  • Wazza - 2010-12-03 08:45

    I don't mind the WC going to Russia, an upside to England not getting it is that I hope the British press now go all out to find out what exactly goes on behind close doors at FIFA. They operate like the mafia, look how they wanted to make SA their own personal country during the WC and their restrictions on media coverage. I hope they get bitten now by the UK media. It is obvious that there are a lot of crooked going ons at FIFA.

  • markwmilligan - 2010-12-03 08:49

    Dry your eyes and get over it.

  • John Seloa - 2010-12-03 08:49

    Well done FIFA executive. England and Australia think they rule the world. They don't deserve it even in the last century. They were hell bent on subbotaging SA's hosting of the tournament, even to the extent of discouraging their nationals from attending. They definitely deserve this humiliation. Who did they think they are in the first place?

      dylanswanie - 2010-12-05 09:13

      Agreed, I didnt care who got it as long as it wasnt England! They always try to make out like they are hard done by. I wont watch it if it was there

  • Mamlaskobo - 2010-12-03 08:51

    You diss the vuvuzela, you sink.

      Gorilla - 2010-12-03 09:00

      wot are you sinking abowt?

      sakkie - 2010-12-03 09:09

      @Mamlaskobo..LOL the curse of the Vuvuzela !!

  • zembam123 - 2010-12-03 08:57

    Attack a FIFA committee member, forgetting that each member has a voting block to which he belongs? How many votes were already anti-England as a result of the attacks? How many then remained in favour? and they still expected to win? ARROGANT, HOLLIER THAN THOU ATTITUDE STINKS. Sis!

  • ME - 2010-12-03 08:59

    Although a country like SA will always have its own problems, I thought the English media in particular was at some stage malicious towards us hosting the world cup. Therefore on a subjective note: THIS SERVES THE ENGLISH WELL!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Gorilla - 2010-12-03 08:59

    Possibly they felt that england would tell them to get stuffed if the attempted to take over the country as they did SA. This is why FIFA prefer countries they can (a) dominate and (b) get bribes from. FIFA sucks. No more SWC for me.

  • bongi.mme - 2010-12-03 09:01

    BM: Not everything is about England, they tried to shoot SA down going into SWC 2010 and they failed dismally. They had a pathetic pitch to host in 2018 and I'm glad they were humiliated. Anyway, out of approx. 195 countries (b4 countries like Slovakia/Germany etc. split up again) what makes them think they deserve a right to stage this event twice in 52 years( 13 events). Potentially, there is about 75 countries that can host a successful event(in approx. 300yrs). It's the same thing with USA, they were trying to play mind games by saying their people will start taking soccer seriously (like they do with Basketball and American Football)if it went back to them. Who cares if they don't, soccer has always been the world's biggest sport despite their lack of soccer support. I suggest that these two countries wait for at least a century before they think about hosting again.

      Seja - 2010-12-03 10:12

      Agree .. they will host SWC again in 2066, 100 years after.

  • Base - 2010-12-03 09:02

    England,Australia and USA are the biggest losers. You dug a hole for yourself.If i was siiting on the panel none of these above will ever,no never get my vote. I think that how everybody feels after you try to humilliate RSA.ha,ha,ha

  • Antonio - 2010-12-03 09:17

    Uhm, England is not all that anymore (since about WWII, I think)

  • Nthlarhi - 2010-12-03 09:17

    England, USA and Australia planted thorns and now they are harvesting what they have sown. Remember the bulletproof vests story? Australia appinting themselves as plan B?

  • Neutedop - 2010-12-03 09:28

    Hahahahaha - Hope you get your bribe money back - hahahaha

  • gunner145 - 2010-12-03 09:33

    Serves them right for being all gloom for predicting South African a failure hosting 2010 with all the negative publicity in the build up.Good Luck to Russia and sorry you pommies!!!

  • JustinD - 2010-12-03 09:41

    Excellent news, England is the last country that deserves to host such a spectacular event

  • makabongwet - 2010-12-03 09:49

    the media is surely to blame. apart from that going to Russia shows the way the development of the world is going. The world cup is going to an emerging market for the third consecutive time. That surely must mean something and it is the geo political considerations that the British have to make in future. The empire fell sometime ago and what we see now is the manifestation of the fall.

      djmilano.26 - 2010-12-03 14:55

      Ya the media is to blame

  • Glenfillan - 2010-12-03 09:56

    Haha, What an epic fail again by the self proclaimed "greatest country in the world". The English must just wake up and realise that they are always 2nd best. As for the English Premiership being the best in the world, the only thing English about it, is the name.Go Mother Russia or anyone but England.

  • Shino - 2010-12-03 10:02

    *God save the queen, cause no one else will !*

  • Michael - 2010-12-03 10:34

    The wheel turns

  • 19 Sixty 6 - 2010-12-03 10:57

    England humiliated in vote, Einaa!

  • Ryan - 2010-12-03 11:24

    England doesn’t need the world cup they got the greatest football league in the world. I would rather go to England to watch a premier league match of the highest football quality than have to waste anymore money on another crap world cup match. So thank you England for football the greatest sport and the Premier league the greatest league.

      Joachim - 2010-12-03 12:16

      What do you know about football - sour grapes - Englang football is useless - it's the imports that play all the good football. Go Russia

      scott - 2010-12-03 20:18


  • Mike - 2010-12-03 11:51

    I am glad England will not have to suck up to FIFA. I hope England did lose because of the investigations into FIFA corruption, giving the world cup to the two countries with the worse technical bids sort of backs up the corruption allegations. I hope now that the full weight of the media that i think has been quite restrained can be released on FIFA. It is about time real football fans got their game back from the crooked organisation that runs the game. Alternatively FIFA need to clean up thier act as the IOC did in the 90s. An organisation that is running scared of what reporters can find out has no place running the worlds greatest sport.

      Mike - 2010-12-03 11:58

      My proudest email of the day... I joined the FIFA site a year ago hoping they may have a message board where you could raise your concerns about the game, or maybe a contact email you could use. There is a link to email them but I never got a reply to my email and the messageboards are full of opportunities to write sychophantic nonsense. FIFA treats fans of the game with contempt. I just wish the email had expressed regret for my disinterest... Dear user, You have now successfully deactivated your free Club Membership. Should you wish to register again at a later stage, please subscribe using the following link: Thank you again for your interest in Kind regards, Your team

  • scott - 2010-12-03 12:29


  • DILLIGAF - 2010-12-03 13:37

    Funny how England invents all these games, and the rest of the world teaches them how to play them.

  • Ayoba - 2010-12-03 14:29

    FIFA would rather give the votes to Zimbabwe than to give it to England. That will be a great slap on the face for England.

  • Ayoba - 2010-12-03 14:49

    FIFA would rather give the SWC to Zimbabwe than to give it to England. That will be a great slap on the face for England.

  • djmilano.26 - 2010-12-03 14:52

    Englands Media did all the Damage

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