Former Three Lions captain Alan Shearer has questioned whether he will ever see a World Cup in England after Russia were awarded the right to host the 2018 tournament, despite being tipped as favourites by many before the vote.
“It makes you feel ‘If we haven’t got it this time then when will we ever get’ after those guys have,” Shearer conceded, when interviewed by the BBC.
“I was hoping that I might see a World Cup in my lifetime in England. I wasn’t born the last time we had one in ’66.
“It is disappointing,” he added, “and I’m at a loss to what to say because we fully expected coming here this afternoon that we’d be successful. It wasn’t to be for whatever reason.”
The former England skipper, who netted 30 goals for his country in 63 appearances, admitted that the mood in the camp had been rocked by reports that their bid had been eliminated at the first hurdle, before being informed that they wouldn’t hosting the tournament they’d worked so hard to achieve.
“We heard the confirmation [that Russia had won]. We also heard that we had gone out in the first round. We don’t know for certain, but that’ what we heard,” said Shearer.
“We felt really confident with the Prime Minister and Prince William behind us.
Nonetheless, Shearer was quick to congratulate Russia on its winning bid, insisting that having ‘tried their best’ England can have no regrets for not succeeding.
“Congratulations to Russia, they had a fantastic bid, but it’s hard to swallow.
“The way the presentation went this morning, the guys who got up and spoke were absolutely magnificent and they couldn’t have done any more.
“But at the end of the day it hasn’t been successful, but if you try your best, and it hasn’t been [good enough] at least you can sleep at night.
He added: “It’s unfortunate, it’s sad, it hurts, but you have to congratulate the winners, and Russia have been winners today – and Qatar – so well done to those guys and I’m sure they’ve worked very hard but as I said it’s disappointing from our point of view.”