Soccer World Cup decision: Winners and losers react

By Paul Harper, Cameron McMillan

The media, world leaders, soccer executives and players react after this morning's announcement that Russia and Qatar will host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

This morning's announcement Russia would host the 2018 Fifa World Cup prompted elation in the world's largest country - but despair in the "home of football".

Following the announcement, Russian deputy prime minister Igor Shuvalov said Fifa had trusted Russia and the country will not disappoint.

"I can promise, we can promise, you will never regret," he said. "Let's make history together."

The national side's star midfielder Andrey Arshavin told FIFA.com the event would "have a huge impact in sports, in our economy, in the development of the country and even in politics".

"It's going to be the best World Cup in history because Russians are so hospitable. I hope it will change the way that Europe and the world view Russia - and hopefully change the opinion of Russian people too."

Russian newspaper Pravda described the announcement as "stunning".

"It was a case of FIFA boldly going where FIFA has not gone before. The World Cup has never been staged in either the former Eastern bloc or in the Middle East."

The Moscow News said the 2018 World Cup will offer another "huge boost for Russia's national prestige", as it will closely follow the 2014 Winter Olympics.

"After a campaign riddled with allegations of corruption, there will be plenty who assume Russia has bribed its way to success," the story reads.

"And the next eight years are likely to lead to intense international media scrutiny of how the ambitious World Cup project is converted to reality - not least from a deeply aggrieved English media already muttering about how they were robbed in the voting."

In England, The Daily Mail's lead headline read "Wills sick as a royal parrot: England loses bid to host World Cup to 'mafia state' Russia (even though Putin didn't even bother turn up)".

"Hundreds of fans had gathered in London and other major English cities despite the freezing cold weather in the hope of good news only to be disappointed," the story read.

Prime Minister David Cameron reflected the mood of the country.

"It is desperately sad," he told The Daily Mail. "There hasn't been a World Cup in England in my lifetime. I was hoping we could change that, but not this time."

The Daily Telegraph's Paul Kelso said the country only receiving two votes was "an embarrassment".

"England looked to have suffered from a backlash against corruption investigations into Fifa members by BBC Panorama and the Sunday Times over the last two months."

The Daily Mirror's lead headline simply mourned "It's not coming home".

The feeling of despair and disappointment travelled across the globe for the nations that missed out on hosting the 2022 World Cup, with the tiny Middle Eastern nation of Qatar winning the prize to host the biggest event in world sport.

Australia were one of five nations bidding to host the 2022 World Cup but were eliminated in the first round of voting. The Melbourne Age website ran with the headline 'Just a single, solitary vote'.

"Australia's disappointment in losing out to Qatar for the right to host the 2022 World Cup has turned to devastation with the revelation that the team from Down Under received just one vote...," the story read.

Before going into the vote Football Federation Australia's chief executive Ben Buckley was confident Australia had locked up at least five votes. Was he lied to the Age asked him.

"I wouldn't use those words but we were confident that we had more support than that," Buckley said.

Australia captain Lucas Neill told Reuters: "I had an inkling we weren't going to get it anyway. It's pretty warm (in Qatar). It's OK in an air conditioned stadium. You get a little bit of a breeze."

Following the United States' failed bid Fox News' website led with the headline "USA Passed Over to Host FIFA World Cup for...Qatar??"

"'Really?! The United States, despite an all-out effort to secure the 2022 World Cup, lost out to Qatar," the story read.

US President Barack Obama was quick to defend his nation's bid saying: "I think it was the wrong decision".

Japan Football Association vice-president Kuniya Daini told Reuters: "We had heard people say our bid was too soon (after co-hosting the 2002 World Cup) so it's possible that was the reason".

HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of Qatar was obviously overjoyed with the decision.

"This achievement is a big one for all Arab countries and I hope that Qatar will successfully stage this tournament," he told FIFA.com.

"We can promise that the infrastructure will be in place and that all Arabs will support our efforts....A lot of people think that we are a small country, but we can accomplish great things."

- Herald online

- Newstalk ZB

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