How England's bid unravelled in 24 hours of double-dealing

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Broken promises, hidden agendas and revenge work against 2018 team. Sam Wallace reveals the details behind the shady Fifa vote

Wednesday 1 December

* David Beckham and Prince William stay up to 11pm talking with ExCo members at the Baur au Lac hotel. The warmth with which Jack Warner throws an arm round William and tells him that England have his vote suggests that they have nothing to fear.



* The English bid is counting on seven votes which they have shaken hands on and reconfirmed time and again. They are Chung Moon Joon (South Korea), Marios Lefkaritis (Cyprus), Jacques Anouma (Ivory Coast) and Jack Warner (Trinidad) who has also promised to deliver his fellow Concacaf (North and Central America and Carribbean) delegates Chuck Blazer (USA) and Rafael Salguero (Guatemala).

* The English ExCo member Geoff Thompson believes he also has a personal guarantee from his close friend Senes Erzik (Turkey) to vote for England.



* William and Beckham leave the Baur au Lac. Andy Anson, 2018 bid chief executive, also goes to bed early to prepare for the presentation the following morning.



* Simon Greenberg, chief of staff, and David Dein, international chairman, stay up to 5am to "man-mark" the ExCo members who have promised bids and recheck that they are solid for England.



* They are aware of representatives of the sports-rights company Sportfive in the room thought to be working on behalf of the Russians.

* But the bid team are suspicious: why has Warner not asked them for Thompson's vote for the USA in the 2022 race in return for the Concacaf bloc?



Thursday 2 December

* Before the presentations, the Fifa president Sepp Blatter thanks Anson for turning around "bad" coverage of Fifa in the English press to "fantastic" coverage in the last few days.



* The English bid is told that their final presentation – featuring David Beckham, David Cameron, Prince William and Manchester City community worker Eddie Afekafe – was the best of the four for 2018.



* The ExCo meets at Fifa House in private. Behind closed doors Blatter asks the 22-man body – the ExCo is missing the two members suspended after the Sunday Times investigation – not to forget "evils of the media" in a clear reference to the English.



* Alone in the room, where there is no mobile phone coverage, Thompson knows that is a signal to ditch the English – if most have not done so already. It is all over for the bid.



* The 22 ExCo members have one vote per round in both the 2018 and 2022 races. Thompson naturally votes for England in the first round and believes he has an agreement to vote for Korea in the 2022 bid in return for Chung's vote in 2018. He also has a reciprocal agreement with the Holland-Belgium bid team that they will vote for the other in the event of one being eliminated.

* England get two votes in the first round: Thompson and Issa Hayatou (Cameroon), ironically one of the ExCo targeted by Monday's Panorama BBC investigation.



* England are eliminated in humiliating fashion in the first round. Russia win in the second round.



* Thompson votes for Korea in the first round of 2022. Chung, billionaire scion of the family that owns Hyundai, does not vote as expected in the 2018 bid.



* Korea are eliminated in the first round of 2022. In the next three rounds Thompson votes for the US, as per his agreement.



* In the 2022 race there are suggestions that Warner has not delivered his three Concacaf votes to the US which would mean, incredibly, that the American ExCo member Blazer did not even vote for his own country.



* The Australians are eliminated in the 2022 first round with one vote, thought to be that of Franz Beckenbauer. They have spent around £25m on their bid which had good technical and economic reports from Fifa.



* There are suggestions that even Michel Platini, who has built his Uefa presidency on opposing big money in football, has voted for Qatar – the tiny emirate with no football history but big oil wealth.



* Platini is thought to have been heavily influenced by Nicolas Sarkozy, France's president, who is negotiating a €1bn-plus investment by Qatar in the French nuclear fuel programme.

* Qatar triumph in the fourth round of voting at 2022. The Fifa ExCo members are ferried to limousines waiting to take them back to the Zurich Messehalle to attend the official announcement of the results to the world's media.



* Thompson arrives and spots Anson and the bid team waiting to go in to the announcement. He breaks the bad news, telling them they were eliminated in the first round. Boris Johnson and Gary Lineker walk back towards the English media. Their expressions say it all.



* Harold Mayne-Nicholls, the former Chile FA president, who was in charge of Fifa's technical evaluations – which rated England as the best bid for 2018 – apologises personally to Anson.



* After facing the media, Anson returns to the Baur au Lac where four of those previously mentioned ExCo members who had an agreement to vote for England launch into a "tirade" against the English media. They had said nothing on the subject before the vote.



* "I hope it is a convenient excuse and they just had other reasons for going to Russia that they are not prepared to tell us about," says Anson. "Because it's a crap excuse."



* The US president Barack Obama says Fifa made "the wrong decision". Coming from the leader of the free world it is a damning indictment of the notoriously sensitive governing body.



Friday 3 December

* Anson announces that England will not bid again until Fifa reforms the voting process.



* The English Football Association's relations with Fifa plummet to a new low when the acting FA chairman Roger Burden withdraws his candidacy to take the job on a permanent basis citing his unwillingness to work with those in Fifa he "cannot trust".



* The FA is to cancel an England friendly with Thailand in June, organised to convince the Thai ExCo member Worawi Makudi to vote for the English bid. He didn't.



* Mutterings about a rebellion from member countries like England and the United States. Could this be the catalyst for a Kerry Packer-style breakaway?

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions