Referee, Howard Webb, has just blown the final whistle and all the Russian fans throng Anfield stadium in England to celebrate their maiden world cup trophy. However, the fourth official calls the referee to the sidelines and informs him that there are still some five minutes to play.The game gets back underway and Steven Gerard scores a double, the first one a thunderous piledriver that rips the gloves of Russian keeper Igor Akinfeev and into the net.
The second is a masterpiece of a goal. Theo Walcott shows why he's become the world's amalgam of speed. "He is simply in the wrong profession," remarks BBC football commentator Usain Bolt as Walcott collects a sublime pass from Glen Johnson and cuts in from the right wing, before laying the ball to a predating Steven Gerard. Captain fantastic lobs the ball over helpless Akinfeev and puts England 2-1 ahead. Immediately, Webb blows the final whistle even before Russia restart the game at center half. England, the 2018 world cup hosts win the trophy for the first time since they last won the Jules Rimet trophy in 1966.
But the biggest challenge lies ahead. They have to retain the title in four years time, in 2022 in Australia. What a tale this could have been had England won the bid to host the 2018 world cup. But as it turned out, this never happened.
I have tried to look for any possible explanation available in modern football to explain why England lost the bid to host the 2018 world cup but to no avail.
Come on, let's face it. Franz Beckenbauer, a world cup winner and one of the legends of the game was quoted saying ""England could host it (the world cup) tomorrow because they have the stadiums, the infrastructure, the fans, everything. But there are a lot of other different countries bidding. Let's wait and see."
So we all waited and what came out? Russia? Oh come on. The twenty-two delegates who cast their votes and allegedly knocked England out in the first round of voting could have done better.
I have nothing against Russia but I believe they would be better placed to host an Olympic game than a World Cup. Reason? Well, they produce some of the best athletes, not footballers in the world. Secondly, where was Russia during the 2010 World Cup? Although England failed to advance past the round of 16, Spain and Portugal who put a joint bid put on a good show, with the former winning the trophy.
The argument here is that it's high time we started giving bids to those countries who have made a at least some commendable contribution to football. I look around and into Russia and see them failing miserably in this criteria.
I don't buy some of the explanations put across by the likes of Amar Singh at Goal.com. Why would a 'Frosty Fifa-FA relations' put a deserving country at risk of not winning a World Cup bid?
Are some of us missing something about football? And just what has Qatar done to football that made them even deserve to be shortlisted as contenders?
I know football's aim is to unify the world, but we surely must ensure that these host countries know something about football and not just gymnastics and some cricket.
I also know so many people will come up with Lord Triesman and false confidence theories but the bottomline is, there's absolutely no justification as to why Russia won the bid ahead of England, Portugal/Spain who all are capable to provide the security, the stadiums, the attendance, the profits and the exhilaration needed for a world cup event.
Who would have minded watching the world cup final in front of a rapturous KOP faithful at Anfield?
The twenty-two delegates who were entrusted by the Football universe to elect a country that will host the world cup did a lot of injustice to that trust, and indeed to football. Maybe the only explanation and reason available to this is corruption. Someone somewhere was denied British pounds but nevertheless got some Russian rouble. Or better yet, as The Sun puts it, it was a fix.
And maybe it's high time someone stepped down.
And That's thesteifmastertake!!