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England bid members shocked by voting snub
The Guardian, December 3rd, 2010 1:49AM

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After receiving just two votes in the initial round of bidding for the 2018 World Cup, members of the England bid contingent who had traveled to Zurich expressed surprise and disappointment.

"We didn't expect it to happen," said Galaxy midfielder David Beckham. "We all felt we had put ourselves in a strong position to get the World Cup in our country in 2018," he said.

Intense lobbying in the days leading up to the vote led England's representatives to believe they'd secured enough votes to pass through the first round. Instead, England drew the fewest votes and will no doubt lead the calls for intense scrutiny of FIFA's operations.

FIFA Executive committee members said British media investigations into corruption and bribery scandals could have caused a backlash against the England bid. "In the end it turns out having the best technical bid, the best commercial bid, a passion for football, that's not enough," said British Prime Minister David Cameron. "It's desperately sad."

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