Officials admit bid dismay

Minister and Mayor eager to learn from failed World Cup effort

Last updated: 2nd December 2010   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Officials admit bid dismay

Robertson: World Cup woe

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English officials have expressed their dismay at losing out to Russia in the bid to host the 2018 World Cup.

Hugh Robertson, the Minister for Sport, admitted he was struggling to understand why Fifa overlooked England's bid.

But the minister is convinced that England did everything in their power to win the rights to host its first World Cup since 1966 despite some obvious hiccups along the way.

"We have had some disappointing moments but we arrived here with a magnificent technical bid and gave a great technical bid and a great presentation," he told Sky Sports News.

"We encouraged them to vote for football reasons. At the moment I don't understand and the only possible explanation is the one given by Sepp Blatter when he announced the decision, which was wanting to take football to new frontiers.

"I'm not sure I would say we were humiliated, everybody saw our presentation this morning and it was widely praised as being the best one the Fifa ExCo (executive committee) received.

Understand

"We now need to go away to understand why this happened."

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, added that the result was "tremendously disappointing", but stressed that the capital still has the 2012 Olympics to look forward to.

"We put together a cracking bid, our technical specification was top notch and our stadiums would have been packed to the rafters," said Johnson.

"Londoners love football. This is a blow but we have achieved a great deal with this bid and we have much to look ahead to.

"We remain 100%-focused on developing London as the most exciting sporting destination in the world, and we have a lot to offer other countries, from putting together our bid and from planning the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"We will carry on providing a strong voice in football and world sport."

Exposure

He added: "The international exposure we've had through the bid process is incredible and we have shown that England's wonderfully diverse and open cities are ripe for hosting the very best sporting events from all corners of the world.

"This has been a bid to be proud of and, whilst of course we congratulate Russia, we can look ahead to hosting the UEFA Champions League Final next year and the Olympics in 2012, the first time since 1948."

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Comments (2)

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Bryce Jennings (Arsenal fan) says...

This is really quite simple. We've been hearing for weeks that England had "the best technical bid". And I think the presentation was fantastic. And on that front there was nothing more the team could have done. The fact is, regardless of how good the bid was, this was always going to be a highly political decision. It is a well known fact that England is disliked amongst FIFA and the political witchhunt by the BBC and even, I would add, the unfortunate events that unfolded at the Carling Cup derby the night before the vote have undoubtedly had some sort of influence. And even on the day, the media were still referring to the event as "coming home" continuing to display the arrogance that it is supposedly a right, and not a privilage, to host the event. On the other hand, it could just be that FIFA have just decided to do what they are always trying to do. That is to grow the game further. And the clue is in the fact that two countries who haven't hosted it before, now are. It will now be 20 years before England are entitled to table another bid. Plenty of time for all concerned to analyse what they can do better next time. By then, Sepp Blatter and his cronies will be long brown bread, and perhaps, just perhaps, a new selection system may well be in place, or England will have to build bridges with the hand that feeds it.

Posted 19:39 2nd December 2010

Joseph Buchanan (Leeds United fan) says...

I cant believe Boris Johnsons comments. The CAPITAL still has the 2012 olympics. Then followed by LONDONERS love football. Is there any wonder we did not win the world cup bid. His comments are as biased as Sepp Blatter and his cronies decision to award the world cup to Russia. Theres more to England than London. the olympics could have been staged in Birmingham for half the costs. This corrupt government deserves everything it gets.

Posted 19:05 2nd December 2010

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