2018 bid timeline

Skysports.com looks at how England's bid to host football's premier competition has played out

Last updated: 2nd December 2010  

Skysports.com charts England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup amid the news from Zurich it was ultimately an unsuccessful campaign. It was back in October 2007 that the Football Association confirmed it was to bid to host football's premier competition. Here, we document the ups and downs of a bid that has endured its fair share of controversy and ultimately ended in disappointment as Fifa awarded the competition to Russia.

2007: October 31 - The Football Association confirm England will bid to host the 2018 World Cup finals.

2008: March: New FA chairman Lord Triesman asks FIFA strategist Peter Hargitay to re-apply for his role within the bid team. He refuses and leaves the campaign.

October 12 - Triesman confirmed as bid chairman. Manchester United chief executive David Gill and Football League chairman Lord Mawhinney named as bid board members. David Beckham, John Barnes and England women's coach Hope Powell appointed bid vice-presidents.

November 20 - Andy Anson, the former commercial director of Manchester United and head of the ATP tennis tour, appointed chief executive of England's bid.

2009: January 16 - Ian Riley, the South African who helped secure the 2010 tournament for his country, appointed as technical bid director.

January 27 - England officially submit their bid to FIFA.

March 19 - Criticism of the Premier League's absence from the bid board leads to PL chairman Sir Dave Richards being appointed as deputy chairman of the bid.

May 18 - Beckham, Wayne Rooney and then Prime Minister Gordon Brown officially launch England's 2018 World Cup bid at Wembley.

July 5 - FIFA member Franz Beckenbauer gives England hope saying the country could stage the tournament "tomorrow".

October 6 - First crisis hits England's bid when FIFA vice-president Jack Warner criticises campaign, says it is only "creeping along when it should be galloping".

October 13 - Karren Brady, a former managing director of Birmingham, and former Celtic and Chelsea defender Paul Elliott appointed as bid board members. Baroness Amos steps down after being appointed as British High Commissioner to Australia.

October 22 - A 50-man squad of ambassadors for the bid is announced, with then England captain John Terry named alongside a number of foreign players who have had a big impact on English football as well as ex-internationals and members of the England women's and disabled teams.

October 22 - Another crisis strikes when England 2018 chiefs are criticised for making gifts of designer handbags to FIFA executive members. They insist they are acting "within the spirit and letter" of bidding rules but within a fortnight Warner returns the bag given to his wife.

November 12 - Emergency meeting leads to major restructuring of bid board. FIFA vice-president Geoff Thompson is included alongside Sir Dave Richards, Lord Mawhinney, Lord Coe, Elliott and Anson. Others join an advisory group headed by Brady.

November 16 - Simon Greenberg, Chelsea's communications and public affairs director, agrees to join bid as "chief of staff". Communications director Kris Dent leaves the bid.

November 17 - Sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe insists he has not been sidelined from the bid - and said it was he who suggested streamlining the board in order to refocus the campaign.

November 24 - More bad publicity as Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards resigns from the board.

2010: May 14 - David Beckham presents England's 1,700-page bid book to FIFA president Sepp Blatter in Zurich.

May 16 - Another major crisis after bid chairman Lord Triesman is secretly taped telling a friend of rumours that Spain could drop its 2018 bid if Russia help bribe referees at the 2010 World Cup. Triesman resigns and is replaced by Geoff Thompson.

May 28 - FIFA's ethics committee finds no basis to the allegations reported by Lord Triesman and will not pursue the matter any further.

June 10 - Australia pull out of the race for 2018 tournament to focus on 2022.

October 6 - World Cup bid chiefs pledge to give fans free public transport on match days if England win the right to host the 2018 tournament.

October 15 - The United States withdraw from 2018 process to focus on 2022, immediately followed by England pulling out of 2022 to concentrate on 2018.

October 17 - The Sunday Times publishes an investigation alleging up to six FIFA officials, including two executive committee members, asked for cash in return for World Cup votes. There are fears it may cause an anti-England backlash.

October 20 - FIFA announces ethics committee investigation into corruption and into alleged collusion between 2018 bidders Spain/Portugal and 2022 bidders Qatar.

October 19 - Russian bid chief Alexei Sorokin refers to London's "high crime rate" and youth alcohol problems in an interview with Russian media.

October 26 - England bid chiefs confirm they have made a complaint to FIFA over Sorokin's comments.

October 28 - England behaviour described as "absolutely primitive" and "comical" by Russian bid advisor Viacheslav Koloskov, a former FIFA member.

November 4 - England 2018 chiefs visit BBC director-general Mark Thompson to express fears a Panorama investigation into FIFA will fatally harm the bid.

November 5 - Panorama confirm they have sent questions to a number of senior FIFA figures.

November 10 - Confirmation of a note passed between two FIFA members at a meeting appears to indicate some collusion between Spain/Portugal and Qatar.

November 11 - Prince William and Prime Minister David Cameron included on list submitted to FIFA to go to Zurich to back England's bid. Meanwhile, international president David Dein holds talks with FIFA president Sepp Blatter on the Panorama/Sunday Times backlash.

November 15 - England 2018 send a letter to all FIFA members to try to repair the damage caused by Panorama/Sunday Times investigations.

November 17 - bid boosted by FIFA evaluation reports judging England and Spain/Portugal low risk, while Russia and Holland/Belgium medium risk. Anson calls the BBC "unpatriotic" for pushing ahead with Panorama investigation.

November 18 - FIFA ethics committee suspend six officials following Sunday Times expose. Spain/Portugal and Qatar cleared of collusion.

November 19 - Blatter insists ill feeling towards Sunday Times should not affect bid. UEFA president Michel Platini says damage done long ago by years of anti-FIFA stories in British media.

November 22 - FIFA vice-president Jack Warner warns of negative fall-out from Panorama programme and claims it has been "deliberately designed to negatively impact" on England's bid.

November 24 - South American confederation confirms their three FIFA members will support Spain/Portugal.

November 25 - Qatar's Mohamed Bin Hammam, head of Asian football confederation, says he will back Spain/Portugal.

November 26 - David Cameron speaks of his frustration that Panorama will screen their programme just three days before the World Cup vote.

November 27 - Advance party of England 2018 bid team head for Zurich ahead of December 2 vote.

November 28 - Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Mohamed bin Hammam denies reports stating that he has agreed to back the Spain/Portugal bid.

November 29 - Panorama accuse three FIFA executive committee members of taking bribes.

November 30 - UEFA president Michel Platini insists the BBC Panorama programme should not affect England's bid.

November 30 - Warner brushes aside the Panorama programme insisting he has no interest in the claims made.

November 30 - Panorama's claims of corruption against FIFA vice-president Issa Hayatou to be investigated by the International Olympic Committee. Hayatou threatens legal action against Panorama. Hayatou also says he will not take out his anger on England's bid.

December 1 - England's bid receives a huge boost after Vladimir Putin, prime minister of Russia, confirms he will not be travelling to Zurich for the vote.

December 2 - Prince William leads England's 2018 World Cup presentation to FIFA by telling members: "I love football, we English love football and it would be an honour for us to host the World Cup."

December 2 - England lose the bid to Russia and Qatar gets the 2022 hosting rights.

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