England secured just two votes in World Cup bid

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The Independent Online

England suffered a humiliating defeat in their attempt to win the 2018 World Cup and were eliminated in the first round with two votes.

Russia will host the World Cup after the vote by FIFA's 22-man executive committee in Zurich today.

FIFA have released the voting figures which showed England won only one other vote apart from Britain's FIFA vice-president Geoff Thompson. In the first round Holland/Belgium secured four, Spain/Portugal seven and Russia nine.

Russia then won an outright majority in the second round of voting.

In the 2022 contest, Qatar beat the USA in the final round of voting.

Thompson, formerly the FA chairman for eight years, said promises to England had been broken.

"I cannot believe what has happened, and I am naturally very, very disappointed," he said. "The votes that were promised clearly didn't materialise.

"I never imagined we would go out in the first round."

FIFA's decision stunned the England bid team who had allowed themselves to become hopeful that the quality of the bid and the lobbying by Prince William, Prime Minister David Cameron and David Beckham had put them in a promising position.

Fears expressed by England 2018 leaders last month that they had been damaged by a backlash against corruption investigations into FIFA members by BBC Panorama and the Sunday Times appear to have been proved true.

London mayor Boris Johnson said: "Clearly there was a feeling in the England 2018 team that all the furore and all the hoo-hah in the media damaged our chances.

"It's very hard to draw any other conclusion after not progressing beyond the first round."

Voting figures:

2018 ballot

First round:

Russia 9

Spain/Portugal 7

Netherlands/Belgium 4

England 2 (eliminated)

Second round:

Russia 13

Spain/Portugal 7

Netherlands/Belgium 2

2022 ballot:

First round

Qatar 11

South Korea 4

Japan 3

U.S. 3

Australia 1 (eliminated)

Second round

Qatar 10

South Korea 5

U.S. 5

Japan 2 (eliminated)

Third round

Qatar 11

U.S. 6

South Korea 5 (eliminated)

Fourth round

Qatar 14

U.S. 8