£15m spent for just two votes (one of which was us anyway), and out at the first round. It is hard to see what more England could have done; on many levels, it was the best bid.
Except it was missing one vital ingredient: it wasn’t ‘new territory’. Russia is, Qatar (in 2022) also. England has hosted a World Cup, time for someone new. Fair enough.
But if that was the brief, the deciding factor, why was England encouraged to bid? There is no problem in FIFA wanting to take the World Cup to big new (extremely wealthy) regions, but why not make that clear at the beginning of the process? As long as Russia promised to hit the technical specs, it was a shoo-in. China must be nailed-on if it ever wants it.
Congrats to Russia, it should host a cracking World Cup: diverse, modern, unique. But couldn’t we have got to this decision a little quicker? What a waste of English time, money and effort. The FA should ask for its money back.