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Pressnews.biz (Press Release) Dec 21, 2014
-- England’s failed bid to host the 2018 World Cup “was by far the strongest contender“, Fifa official Harold Mayne-Nicholls was quoted as saying on Sunday.
“How could England have only got two votes? It was a big surprise,” Mayne-Nicholls was quoted as saying in The Sunday Times.
The 53-year-old, a former Chilean football federation president, was chairman of a Fifa group tasked with assessing the strength and feasibility of the various bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup finals.
Having visited all 11 countries bidding, Mayne-Nicholls concluded that England had the best infrastructure and public involvement, crucial facets of any successful bid.
The bid, however, received just two votes from a possible 22 with Russia winning the right to host the 2018 tournament. Qatar secured the 2022 event.
“England were on the top. They had the best concept, the best infrastructure and the people were very much involved,” said Mayne-Nicholls.
“I was there and I saw the faces of Prince William and [David] Beckham, and they were shocked. It’s like when you are a first division team and you play a third division team and you lose by five goals.“
Mayne-Nicholls has previously raised concerns about Qatar, whose bid was the only one labelled as high risk by the evaluation committee due to the searing heat.
He again questioned the logistical issues raised by hosting the tournament in one city and said the transport and infrastructure would not be able to cope with the deluge of fans flocking to the tournament.
“It is a real possibility that lots of people cannot get to the games,” said Mayne-Nicholls.
On Friday, the Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, announced the world body would publish “in an appropriate form” a 430-page report compiled by the former ethics investigator Michael Garcia which explored claims of bribery in the bidding process.
Mayne-Nicholls said last month he would decide in the new year whether to stand for Fifa presidency against Blatter. Fifa rules prevent campaigning before 29 January with the election set for 29 May.
fifa world champions badge honours real madrid's impeccable year
By virtue of their success at the tournament in Marrakech on Saturday, Real Madrid were awarded the FIFA World Champions Badge for the first time, meaning that they are now officially part of the exclusive group of football teams who have had the right to wear the badge of honour on their competition jerseys.
After last year’s tournament, Bayern Munich were presented with the FIFA World Champions Badge, succeeding Brazilian club Corinthians, who had won the year before. Real Madrid will proudly wear the FIFA World Champions Badge throughout 2015 until a new champion claims the title next year.
The FIFA World Champions Badge
A series of FIFA World Champions Badges are awarded to the winners of each major FIFA event, with the FIFA World Champions Badge portraying both the respective tournament trophy and the year of the edition.
The first side to be presented with the FIFA World Champions Badge was the Italian men’s national team, after their victory at the 2006 FIFA World Cup™, followed by Spain after their success in South Africa in 2010 and, most recently, by Germany, who earned the right to wear the badge of honour as the winners of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
The badge is also worn by the Japanese women’s national team following their triumph at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011™, while the most recent edition of the FIFA Futsal World Cup in 2012 saw the Brazilian national team take the title, along with the first FIFA World Champions Badge to be handed over for that particular competition. The latest tournament to be introduced to this exclusive award was the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Tahiti 2013, where reigning champions Russia were awarded the FIFA World Champions Badge.
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