England 2018 bid chief executive Andy Anson has criticised the FIFA World Cup bidding process after his team's failure to land the tournament.
The England bid went out at the first round, having earned just two votes, with Russia beating the Spain/Portugal and Holland/Belgium bids in round two.
"Running two World Cups together was clearly a mistake," he said. "It inevitably led to people with votes in 2018 doing deals with people involved in 2022."
Anson, who headed a bid that cost £15m in FA money and cash from sponsors, said falling at the first hurdle was ‘pretty disheartening’.
Russia's victory in the 2018 race was followed by the huge surprise of Qatar beating the United States in the fourth round of voting to win the right to host the 2022 event.
"If you look at the technical process, the people who got the best reviews went out earliest, while the people who get the toughest reviews seem to have won," added Anson.
"The technical report is £3m down the drain by the looks of it. We spent £3m on it and it was the best one. The two bids with the worst technical reports won."
He also expressed bitterness at the way the vote had turned out to be tactical. "There were other votes we thought we were going to get that would have taken us way into the second round and beyond," he added. "Some of those didn't materialise, I don't know which ones.
"When people look you in the eye and promise you something, you hope they live up to their word, but clearly that hasn't happened."
Prime Minister David Cameron said...
"I think, according to FIFA we had the best technical bid. No-one could identify any risks of coming to England. I think we had the strongest commercial bid and the country is passionate about football. But it turns out that is not enough.
"It is hard to see what more you can do, but in the end it turns out, having the best technical bid, commercial bid, the passion for football, that is not enough. It's desperately sad, there has not been a World Cup in my lifetime in England. I was hoping we could change that, but not this time."
England bid board member Lord Coe said...
"Fifa will have to look at what they've presided over the last few weeks and month and decide if this is the way they want to continue in the bidding process. I think probably they're going to have to look at the framework.
"I'm only sorry that the bid team today weren't fully able to get the message across. I believe England was pre-eminently the best bid at the table. We will stage a fantastic Olympic Games in the same way we would have staged a fantastic World Cup."
Premier League chairman Richard Scudamore said...
"They have decided to take the World Cups to developing areas. What's gone against us is not having to build 20 new stadia. It almost feels as if we are on standby for when somebody can't host it. That's all very well - but on that basis we will never get it."