FORMER England captain David Beckham was left crestfallen last night claiming the bid team “did everything possible” to bring the World Cup home for the first time since 1966.
A stellar charm offensive, led by Beckham, Prime Minister David Cameron and Prince William, had seen England’s odds of hosting the 2018 tournament shorten dramatically, but ultimately the bid garnered just two votes from Fifa’s Executive Committee members.
Beckham said: “I think the bid team have done everything possible, we couldn't have got a better bid.
“We’re disappointed but we wish Qatar and Russia the very best, they’re two great countries and I’m sure they’ll make Fifa very proud.
“It’s obviously hard to not come away with the World Cup in 2018 but a lot of congratulations have to go to the team, a lot of hard work has been done.
“With the Prime Minister’s hard work and Prince William’s hard work, the whole bid team has been exceptional.
“It would be great to bring the World Cup to our country because we’ve not had it for so many years but it’s a process I’ve enjoyed.”
Prince William, president of the Football Association added: “We had a very strong bid, sadly it didn’t work out. I’m sorry for the fans back home, we did everything we could.”
Former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein, a central and influential figure in England’s bid, complained that “the best team didn’t win”.
“When the technical study and the economic reports came out, we were one of best – if not the best – and I think you’ll agree that the presentation today was top class, so that makes it all the more disappointing that we didn’t do better.
“I’m not sure how it worked, all I can say is sometimes in life – we’ve seen so many football matches in our time – the best team doesn't necessarily win.”
Former England striker Gary Lineker, an ambassador for the 2018 bid, added: “They’ve always said they want to push the frontiers – I was surprised they went with two new ones but there were a lot of good strong bids.”
"It was always going to be hugely competitive, I just wish it was us."
IS IT COMING HOME | MAYBE 2030
IF YESTERDAY’S?World Cup ballot alone wasn’t a big enough kick in the teeth for English football fans desperate to see the biggest sporting event on the planet hosted on home shores, the fact that football now won’t be coming home until 2030 at the earliest simply rubs salt into already gaping wounds. By then, it could be as many as 64 years of hurt, David Beckham will be 55 years old and Sir Geoff Hurst, scorer of the hat-trick that won England the World Cup in 1966, will be 88. If you fancy a speculative patriotic flutter, however, you can get on England at 10-1 to be the host nation come 2030.