Spain gracious in defeat
Spanish pay tribute to Russia
Last Updated: 02/12/10 7:52pm
Hierro: Tribute to Russia
The Spanish football federation (RFEF) have congratulated Russia and Qatar on their successful bids to stage the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
Spain along with Portugal in a joint bid had been competing to host the 2018 World Cup but were beaten by Russia.
Russia secured the majority 12 votes needed from the 22 Fifa executives to win the right to host the finals for the first time following the final bid presentations in Zurich on Thursday.
"The Spanish football federation wishes to extent its most sincere congratulations to the football federations of Russia and Qatar after being chosen to organise the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, respectively" the RFEF said in a statement on their website.
CongratulationsFormer Real Madrid and Spain defender Fernando Hierro, who is now the sporting director of the RFEF, said: "Personally I'm hurt for my president (Angel Maria Villar), who is a man who has worked very hard.
"Now all that remains for us is to congratulate our candidacy for the great job they've done. Also we have to congratulate Russia because they are worthy winners."
Asked his thoughts on the reasons behind Russia's success, Hierro added in AS: "They are the personal criteria of the 22 people who voted. We are convinced that our candidacy was wonderful and with wonderful professionals."
Miguel Angel Lopez, general manager of the Candidatura Iberica World Cup bid, said: "Football is looking for different horizons and it seems good to me that it's not always in the same continents.
"We knew this was a game that was either won or lost, but never drawn. We were confident, full of hope and with morale high because we did a very good job.
Everyone can see that, but FIFA have thought it best to promote football in other parts of the world and we have to accept that.
"To have won would be recognition of a job very well done. We've shown the world that we have many things in Spain and Portugal."