Russia were today voted to host the 2018 World Cup, ahead of bids from England, Spain/Portugal and Holland/Belgium.
|The Russian bid. Courtesy of bbc.co.uk|
England were rumoured to have gone out of the reckoning in the first round and their victors, Russia, will host the first World Cup in Eastern Europe, following the first one held in Africa. The stadiums are not all built yet and the transport system not up to date but FIFA seem to think they have what it takes. They will also have to remove the racism which is rife in Russian football today as the world comes to their doorstep.
England, however, failed for three reasons, in my opinion.
Media and history
The British media in the past few weeks have done nothing to show how worthy England is of this prize and England has a history of being overlooked because of this media aspect of the culture. The bid in England would have been the most profitable but maybe FIFA would rather lower profits in order to avoid the British press.
A bit too prepared?
With the awarding of the World Cup Hosting privelage to South Africa Brazil in succession, this trend of using the World Cup to help develop those countries less well off went against England. As Russian President, Vladimir Putin, said this week in a TV interview: 'Why award it to a country which has the infrastructure there already?'.
Of course Wembley, Old Trafford and the Emirates had to be in there but there were quite a few very surprising inclusions to the venue list. Plymouth, Milton Keynes and Bristol were all proposed to build new developments for this bid, as well as multiple venues in London and Manchester. Could the stadium spread have been wider and have included more developed cities and clubs? Would that have helped?
The question remains, now, whether I will ever see a World Cup in England during my lifetime? The earliest it could possibly be is now 2030 but even then, I can't see football coming home again.