After Hysteria, ennui. With England suffering a humiliating exit in the first round of voting for the 2018 FIFA World Cup it’s time for some serious introspection for football’s mother country.
Fans are disappointed, experts are irked, and some blame it on the British media’s revelations of corruption in FIFA.
What is hard to digest is the fact that despite the Prime Minister, Prince William and star footballer David Beckham pitching atop a £15million campaign cost England could manage only one vote apart from their own.
This humiliation I think hurts more than the exit.
A dejected Cameron told the Guardian: “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.”
A desperate remark by a dejected PM who gave the bid his best shot, unlike his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin who did not even turn up for the final results.
As an anticipated result either WC is not the lead or if it is mostly FIFA is rubbished for the decision to give games to countries which are not developed.
Media mood swings
Watching this story unfold for most part of Thursday it was interesting to observe the unpredictable mood swing of media.
Till 15.45 BST they were raving and rooting about the chances England had, the kind of build up was unparalleled. The BBC did mention Russia and Madrid in their reporting, but it was namesake. It was England all the way and bid hijacked every other development and the story.
Seconds before FIFA president Sepp Blatter opened the envelope to announce the winner BBC ran an unconfirmed strap England Bid rejected in first round. It just killed the suspense and ended the story. What followed was on expected lines.
By evening WC news fell way below on the BBC page, most newspapers either hit out on FIFA or underplayed the story.
It will take some time and thinking for football’s mother country to come in terms with this humiliation and the only way they can do it by proving their mettle on the field, which they haven’t been able to do in the recent memory.