England’s World Cup 2018 bid defeat to Russia has caused a national outcry, with headlines up and down the country screaming ‘Fix’!
Fifa president Sebb Blatter praised England’s bid but the country failed to make it even into the second round of voting, receiving just two nods, one from England’s Fifa delegate Geoff Thompson was one from Cameroon’s Issa Hayatou.
Twitter was awash with England fans venting their fury at Fifa’s World Cup 2018 decision and suggesting a fix. England player Rio Ferdinand wrote: “England got lowest votes, 2!!! How the f***? Something really can’t be right there…”
London Mayor Boris Johnson said: “We put together a cracking bid, top notch. Our stadiums would have been packed to the rafters. This is disappointing.”
Newspapers have reacted to the news with varying levels of ire.
According to The Sun, the result was a fix and Russians knew 24 hours before Fifa vote was in that they had the World Cup 2018. Russian bid chief executive Alexey Sorokin allegedly told the England team in Zurich that his country has enough votes guaranteed to secure the tournament.
The Daily Mirror focused on the fact that England’s only vote was apparently from Cameroon’s Issa Hayatou, who, strangely, was one of the targets of Panorama’s Fifa corruption expose. The paper continues to say that despite being less equipped to host the World Cup, Russia did its talking through a cheque-book.
“Russia’s oil wealth and the petro-dollars of Qatar saw the 2018 and 2022 World Cups handed to bids Fifa themselves rated as the worst technical cases,” it said.
The Daily Mail was equally outraged, accusing Fifa of lying to England in a “dirty tricks battle” for the World Cup 2018. England’s bid leader Andy Anson said: “We thought we had more than six votes, perhaps seven or eight. We got two. People who promised us their vote obviously went the other way.”
Even the more staid Independent took up the fix theme and ran with the headline “England fear foul play…” The paper goes on to describe how the controversial Panorama documentary was alluded to during the bid process.
Andy Anson summed it up, saying: “I don’t think people do like us”.
What do you think – did Russia win the World Cup 2018 fair and square or was it all a big fix?