7 Oct 2011

England World Cup bid never had chance - sports minister

7:00 am on 7 October 2011

England would never have launched a bid to stage the football World Cup in 2018 if world governing body FIFA had said at the outset that it wanted to take the tournament to new frontiers.

That's according to British sports minister Hugh Robertson, who told delegates at the Leaders in Football conference that if FIFA had been more open about its objectives, the British government and the Football Association would never have spent 15 million pounds on producing a brilliant bid which FIFA had no interest in.

Robertson says FIFA wanted to take the next World Cups to markets they had not penetrated in any way before, so actually it did not matter how good their bid was as they were never in the game at all.