England’s dream of hosting the 2018 World Cup has ended in disappointment.
Russia won the right to stage the tournament after a ballot by the Fifa executive committee in Zurich.
President Sepp Blatter made the announcement in the Swiss city.
The England 2018 bid team had hoped the lobbying of Fifa members by Prince William, David Cameron and David Beckham in recent days had given them an advantage. But the campaign was ultimately unsuccessful.
Despite a bid described as “excellent and remarkable” by Mr Blatter, judges rejected sending the tournament back to England for the first time since 1966.
Though the nation is blessed with a series of excellent stadia, good transport links and policing, it is thought a number of behind-the-scenes factors possibly went against England.
BBC’s recent Panorama investigation accused three Fifa executive committee members of accepting “corrupt” payments and alleged that Fifa vice-president Jack Warner attempted to supply ticket touts. It was transmitted just three days ago.
Uefa president Michel Platini insisted the documentary would not alter members’ votes or wreck England’s chances. But he did claim that the British media’s arduous relationship with football’s international governing body could jeopardise England’s chances of success.
African confederation president Issa Hayatou – whose vote England had high hopes of capturing – Brazil’s Ricardo Terra Teixeira and Nicolas Leoz of Paraguay were all accused by Panorama of taking payments.
Mr Warner was the subject of accusations that he “ordered (2010 World Cup) tickets costing 84,240 US dollars from the Fifa ticket office but the deal subsequently fell through”.