Anson hits out at FIFA bidding process

Andy Anson, chief executive of England's 2018 bid team, has hit out at FIFA's bidding process, after Russia were awarded the right to host the tournament on Thursday.

England headed into the Zurich vote as favourites following an impressive presentation that included speeches from David Beckham, Prince William and Prime Minister David Cameron.

However, it mattered little when FIFA's Executive Committee members headed to the ballet box, with England picking up just two votes (one of them from England themselves) in the first round, meaning early elimination.

Qatar were awarded the 2022 World Cup as FIFA took the unprecedented step of deciding the locations of the next two tournaments at the same time, leading to speculation of collusion between countries.

And Anson believes that the new bidding procedure worked against England.

"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."

"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."

Anson also revealed his frustration at not receiving votes that he had been confident of getting, having held talks with the majority of FIFA's members.

"There were other votes we thought we were going to get that would have taken us way into the second round and beyond," he said.

"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, who delivered a stirring speech - without notes - in England's final presentation on Thursday, voiced his disappointment.

"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," he said.

"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."