England’s 2018 World Cup bid has been lost to Russia, an opportunity that would have boosted the UK economy by £3.2bn.
The announcement has been made this afternoon at FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich.
Hosting the 2018 World Cup would have been a welcome boost for British tourism, which is already set to gain from the Royal Wedding next year, the Queen’s Diamond jubilee and the Olympic Games in 2012, plus the Rugby League World Cup in 2013, Rugby Union World Cup in 2014 and the cricket World Cup in 2019.
James Berresford, chief executive VisitEngland, said: “We are all obviously disappointed that England has been unsuccessful in its bid to host the 2018 World Cup. Despite this set back, the next ten years is full of sporting promise for England.
"England is fast carving out a reputation as a destination able to deliver top class sporting experiences. Sports tourism is estimated at being worth £2.3 billion and has potential to grow from strength to strength."
According to FIFA rules, England will now not be able to submit a bid to host the World Cup again until 2030.
Next bid opportunity?
Alan Shearer, part of the England bid team, said: “Congratulations to Russia. They had a fantastic bid but it’s a bit hard to swallow. We don't feel like we could have done anymore.
"It does make you wonder that if we didnt get it this time, whenever will we get it."
The 2022 World Cup will be held in Qatar, an announcement also made just this afternoon.