World Cup - Sour grapes for England, USA

Thu, 02 Dec 21:00:00 2010

England's FIFA vice-president Geoff Thompson was stunned that England received just two votes, while Barack Obama criticised FIFA's choices - plus the rest of the reaction from the losing nations following the voting process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

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Britain's FIFA vice-president Geoff Thompson: "I cannot believe what has happened, and I am naturally very, very disappointed. The votes that were promised clearly didn't materialise.

"I never imagined we would go out in the first round."

Prime Minister David Cameron: "It's hard to see what more you can do, but in the end it turns out having the best technical bid, the best commercial bid, a passion for football, that's not enough.

"It's desperately sad. There hasn't been a World Cup in England in my lifetime, I was hoping we could change that but not this time."

Heir to the British throne and FA president Prince William: "We had a very strong bid, sadly it didn't work out. The guys have been doing a fantastic job, we ran a really professional campaign, and I'm immensely proud of them...

"The guys are quite down at the moment but I'm immensely proud to be a part of it. I'm sorry for the fans back home, we did everything we could."

England bid ambassador David Beckham: "I think the bid team have done everything possible, we couldn't have got a better bid.

"We're disappointed but we wish Qatar and Russia the very best, they're two great countries and I'm sure they'll make FIFA very proud.

"It's obviously hard to not come away with the World Cup in 2018 but a lot of congratulations have to go to the team, a lot of hard work has been done.

"It would be great to bring the World Cup to our country because we've not had it for so many years but it's a process I've enjoyed."

Bid advisor Keith Mills: "I'm not sure what else we could have done and I think FIFA are sending a message to the world about where they want the World Cup.

"FIFA's message was loud and clear today that they want football and the World Cup to go to the developing part of the world."

British sports minister Hugh Robertson: "The only explanation I can give is the one given by Sepp Blatter, that they wanted to take the World Cup to new frontiers."

Former England manager Graham Taylor: "I ask the question 'what were we expecting?'. FIFA, for me, is full of people who say 'yes' to your face and 'no' behind your back. Their reputation has not changed for many years."

"We England have little or no influence. We are considered to be arrogant and know-alls and FIFA don't have to answer to anyone.

"I'm surprised that we're surprised. This has been going on for years and we've been aware of a lot of things going on around the back.

"(But) I have a feeling, perhaps, that it might be time (for FIFA's decision-making process to be completely overhauled). They really need looking into and investigating and our journalists are very good at that.

"How long has this been going on? How long have been questions been asked of FIFA and when have they answered them?

"You don't want take away from Russia or Qatar but it may be that this is the trigger for it to get looked into."

London mayor Boris Johnson: "If one of the results of what has happened today is that we proceed to a closer examination of how these decisions are taken, at how World Cups that are worth billions of pounds are awarded around the world, I don't think that would be a bad thing.

"I think that people will now wonder if the conclave of the oligarchy that decides where the World Cup should go, I think people will think its days are now numbered in its current form."

Former FA executive director David Davies: "However England's defeat has come about, I'm sure there'll be an inquest. There must be, there should be.

"I'm desperately sad for our bid team who honestly deserve much, much better. I have already seen a few tears and one or two of them are speechless.

"They feel betrayed; some of the FIFA ex-co members I suspect will say they've been betrayed by the wicked old British media.

"Some of them though will know that they changed their minds about voting for England and why they did."

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US President Barack Obama: (On Qatar beating USA to host the 2022 tournament) "I think it was the wrong decision."

US Soccer president and 2022 bid chairman Sunil Gulati: "It's politics, it's friendships and relationships, it's alliances, it's tactics.

"There are far too many permutations, especially with two World Cups being decided on the same day, and I am not smart enough to figure out how all those played out in these two elections.

"It is clear and it has been widely reported over the past several months that there was the possibility of some alliances and the numbers would seem to bear that out.

"It's obviously not the way certain things are done in the US or in other parts of the world, and it is the way things are done in different parts of the world frankly, and I had some discussions with some of our competitors about that.

"I am sure FIFA will look at what has happened over the last couple of months and the last two years of this process and decide how they want to go forward but I am not going to comment on that at this stage."

Former US international turned commentato Eric Wynalda: "Is this about soccer or about natural gas and oil? That's what has just won... they have just bought the World Cup."

USA FIFA member Chuck Blazer: "(The corruption investigations) didn't create a positive environment for the England bid but it's difficult to get into the minds of other people and know if it really was a factor."

Mark Abbott, president of Major League Soccer: "Obviously we're disappointed, there were tireless efforts put in by the US bid committee. The power of the World Cup to transform the way people think about countries and the way development happens in countries is powerful and I expect it will have a very positive impact for that country."

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Miguel Angel Lopez, Spain/Portugal bid managing director: "FIFA thought it was better to promote football in other latitudes and there we are. The decision is focused on taking football to regions which have never held a World Cup."

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque: "Perhaps the members of the executive committee wanted to expand football to new lands, to countries that are powerful economically, to those with money."

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Former Belgian footballer Marc Wilmots (to public broadcaster RTBF): "Russia is a political choice and Qatar is an economic choice. You can say that to some extent the sport has been the loser with the decision for these two World Cups."

"Now everyone knew from the start that there would be more people disappointed than winners. We are in the first category but from a sporting point of view you have to know how to accept this with grace."

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Howard Stringer, bid chairman and CEO of Sony Corp: "We had it in 2002 -- that was too big a mountain to climb. I was hoping we could get Japan another mission -- the chance to do something spectacular in technology for society."

JFA vice-president Kuniya Daini: "We had heard people say our bid was too soon (after co-hosting the 2002 World Cup) so it's possible that was the reason.

"We knew it would be tough but it's still a big disappointment. We have set a target of hosting the World Cup alone by 2050 so we will be bidding again."

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Mark Arbib, Australia sports minister to Australian television: "We're all pretty shattered over here. It was a bit unexpected because we thought we had run a first-class campaign to win. We did our best ... unfortunately it wasn't the case."

Australia captain Lucas Neill: "I had an inkling we weren't going to get it anyway. It's pretty warm (in Qatar). It's OK in an air conditioned stadium. You get a little bit of a breeze."


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