Russia has won the bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup ahead of a bitterly disappointed England, which got just 2 of the 22 votes available, despite a massive media campaign.
Russiaâ€™s win would be regarded by many as a crushing blow to English prideÂ by FIFA President, Sepp Blatter and his team, who preferred Russia as the best place to stage the worldâ€™s most popular and watched football showcase.
The result means that World Cup will be hosted in a new land as Russia will be hosting the competition for the first time.
England, which had been regarded as the favourites, even came behind the joint bid by the Netherlands and Belgium, who were regarded by most as rank outsiders.
Another joint bid by Spain and Portugal had also made the shortlist of four.
England had sent to Zurich a high profile delegation led by Prime Minister David Cameron, Prince Willam and David Beckham but their presence could not stop Blatter from breaking English hearts.
Prime Minister David Cameron said he was bitterly disappointed with the outcome, while Prince William also expressed his dismay.
According to reports, an inquest has already begun into what went wrong for England, whose humiliating exit could not justify the countryâ€™s spending of Â£15million on the bid.
Many believe the bid paid the price for stories in the British media claiming corruption at the highest level of FIFA.
Reports however say despite Russia winning, the country’s bid team had always said it would never be ready to host the World Cup tomorrow but now the pressure is on to make sure it’s ready by 2018.
Contrary to the reports, the Russian Sports Minister, Vitaly Mutko was quoted saying Russia is promising the world a World Cup never to be forgotten.Â
Mutko was also happy together with the countryâ€™s representatives that Russian has finally won the race with their pitch to open up new markets.
Despite Englandâ€™s disappointment, FIFA President Sepp Blatter urged losing countries to accept defeat, saying football is not only about winning, but football is also a school of life where people should learn to lose.
He said with four bidders for 2018, there was going be only one winner and that winner is Russia.
In another surprise move, FIFA has chosen Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup.