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Page last updated at 17:31 GMT, Thursday, 2 December 2010

World Cup vote - decision day as it happened

Fifa announce that Russia have won the right to host the 2018 World Cup, while Qatar will host the 2022 tournament


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By Chris Bevan

1725: This is where I sign off folks. It's been a long day, and I wish I could say it's been a great day. In fact, for English football it's been a disaster: The 2018 World Cup will be in Russia, not England and I suspect we have not even started to find out the full reasons why. Plenty more fall-out to come tonight too, but I will be leaving you in the capable hands of Sam Lyon to take you through all of that, not to mention Steaua Bucharest v Liverpool in the Europa League too. He's so keen, he's already started his text commentary, right here.

1712: Full results of 2022 voting:

Round 1: Australia1 vote, Japan 3 votes, US 3 votes, South Korea 4 votes and Qatar 11 votes.

Round 2: Japan 2 votes, South Korea 5 votes, US 5 votes and Qatar 10 votes.

Round 3 South Korea 5 votes, US 6 votes and Qatar 11 votes.

Round 4 US 8 votes and Qatar 14 votes (Qatar obtain absolute majority)

1710: Russia actually got 13 votes in round two. My mistake. Still doesn't explain those floating voters though...

1708: The battle for the 2022 tournament went to four rounds, with Qatar eventually beating the US by 14-8.

1703: So two people who voted for Netherlands/Belgium in round one then switched allegiances to Russia in round two even though Neth/Bel were still involved. I don't really understand that.

1657: Full results of 2018 voting:

Round 1: England 2 votes, Netherlands/Belgium 4 votes, Spain/Portugal 7 votes and Russia 9 votes.

Round 2: Netherlands/Belgium 2 votes, Spain/Portugal 7 votes and Russia 13 votes (Russia obtain absolute majority)

1656: Here's some breaking news that is difficult to swallow. England only got TWO votes out of 22 in the first round of voting.

1654: If I'm honest, I'm a little bit crushed by today's events, and I'm betting you lot are too (unless you are from Russia or Qatar of course). The England 2018 bid team are similarly devastated, understandably, with bid leader Andy Anson saying "I'm just gutted. We were quietly confident we'd go all the way." Prime Minister David Cameron, who was part of an impressive England presentation on Thursday morning, added: "It is bitterly disappointing. I think according to Fifa we had the best technical bid, the best commercial bid. No-one could identify any risks coming to England. "It turns out that's not enough."

AdrianGrace on Twitter: "Maybe we should just give it a rest till 2066 and go for the sympathy vote."

From Steve in Liverpool, via text: "Part of me understands why Russia were awarded the 2018 World Cup but the other part of me cannot understand why and how England's bid came fourth. Stunned by that decision considering I firmly believed we had the strongest bid. As for Qatar 2022, well I'm lost for words. The only way we can respond to Fifa is by winning the World Cup in Russia! Come on England."

BBC producer Joan Soley, in Washington DC: "When the word 'Qatar' was spoken, American fans watching the big screens at the Newseum (a "news museum") were simply stunned - no booing or tears, but disbelief; and then a minute later, every face shows honest disappointment."

1635: The debate over why England missed out and Russia (and Qatar) succeeded will go on and on. For now, we can only guess at the reasons why. The chief excutive of England's bid, Andy Andson, says: "Given the assurances from Fifa delegates I'm staggered that we went out in the first round of voting".

Former England captain and bid ambassador David Beckham: "We didn't get enough votes at the end of the day and that's obviously what we needed, what we hoped we would get. We believe we put ourselves in the best position but a lot of hard work has been done also by the Prime Minister and Prince William. The whole bid team has been exceptional. Apologies we couldn't bring the World Cup to our country. There's no more passionate fans in the world than England.

1622: It turns out it was a landslide for Russia. They won by reaching an absolute majority of 12 votes from the 22 voting members of Fifa's executive committee after only two rounds.

England down
1615: It hasn't been the day we wanted it to be, has it? England weren't even close, which is even harder to take. It gets worse too. The failure to win the 2018 tournament means it will be 2030 at the earliest before the World Cup comes back to England. That is 64 years of hurt.

From Richard in Leigh on Sea, via text: "I'm glad that Russia were successful. We are lucky enough to live in a well developed country. The benefit to Russia and its people will be far greater than what it would be to us and they need it more. To be bitter would only show our selfishness. Congratulations and good luck to Russia."

Russia up
1612: As reported earlier, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will be flying to Zurich to thank Fifa for awarding the 2018 World Cup to his country. He has called the decision "a sign of trust" for his country.

Former England captain and 2018 bid ambassador Gary Lineker: "Naturally we are hugely disappointed. At the same time we gave it our best shot. It was very well presented by our bid team. All you can do is wish Russia well and hope they have a really good World Cup but I wish it was us."

1609: I don't think there was expectation that England would win the vote, but there was certainly hope. A first-round exit - meaning they got the fewest votes of any of the four contenders for 2018 (Russia, Spain/Portugal and Netherlands/Belgium) suggests they were actually no-hopers. Fifa say they will reveal how the voting went. Should be interesting to see exactly how many votes England got.

From BBC Brazil's Anelise Infante in Madrid: "Bitter disappointment here amongst Spanish fans: "A done deal... pure theatre by Fifa... Prime Minister Zapatero and the economic crisis to blame..."

From BBC Russia's Pavel Bandakov in Zurich: "UNBELIEVABLE - this is the reaction from the Russian sector of media centre here in Zurich."

England bid ambassador and BBC pundit Alan Shearer on England's failure to clinch the 2018 World Cup: "We heard a rumour two or three minutes before we sat down in the auditorium that we hadn't been successful. Congratulations to Russia, they had a fantastic bid but it is hard to swallow right now. The way our presentation went this morning with the guys who got up and spoke - they were absolutely magnificent. You have to think that if we couldn't get it this time, when are we going to get it? I am not sure we could have done any more, everybody was happy with the bid we put togeth and we worked so hard.It's sad and it hurts but we have to congratulate the winners."

Fifa president Sepp Blatter on Russia winning the right to host the 2018 World Cup: "I am sure that to organise the World Cup in that region, or that continent, it will do a lot of good for this part of the world."

1549: England bid ambassador and BBC presenter Gary Lineker has confirmed that England were knocked out in the first round of voting. They came fourth out of four. I'm stunned.

BBC sports news correspondent James Pearce on Twitter: "Remember that Fifa inspection team described Qatar World Cup as "high risk"."

1546: Now that is a shock. Fifa choose to take the World Cup to the Middle East, and to Qatar. Not many people saw that one coming.

Champagne moment
Qatar up

1542: Let's put the sadness of the 2018 result aside for a second. The hosts of the 2022 World Cup are about to be announced, when Sepp Blatter has finished congratulating Russia on their success.

England captain Rio Ferdinand on Twitter: "Wow Russia will host the World Cup 2018....soooo gutted. What more could we have done? What did we do wrong?"

England down
1538: Crushing disappointment for the England bid team, and millions of fans around the country. Football is not coming home, just yet anyway. In Zurich, the Russian delegates are on the stage at the Messe Zurich, quite appropriately clutching the World Cup trophy.

Champagne moment
Russia up

1536: Here we go...

1535: He just does not want to open that envelope does he?

1534: Sepp is not exactly in a hurry here...

1531: Forget those rumours for a moment. Here is Fifa president Sepp Blatter, with the envelope of truth for the 2018 World Cup.

1530: I am hearing that England were knocked out in the first round of voting, which is why they already know they have been eliminated. All unconfirmed reports at the moment, but they are coming from a source close to the bid team.

1529: The rumours coming out of Zurich are that England have missed out on the 2018 World Cup. These are just rumours at the moment, mind.

1526: The lights are being dimmed, and a film about previous World Cups is being shown in the auditorium.

1525: It's very tense in the England camp judging from the pictures I've just seen from the auditorium at Messe Zurich. If you are wearing a hat, now might be a good time to hold on to it - everyone is waiting for Fifa president Sepp Blatter and those envelopes.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live sports news correspondent Gordon Farquhar in Zurich on Twitter: "Everyone filing in: bids mixing with ex-co impossible to read the mood. Mainly in their seats now."

Lil_Geeee on Twitter: "I'm so nervous, I really believe England should get this!!! The World Cup needs to be here, we are football!"

1518: Some interesting news. Fifa have changed their mind and will reveal all the voting figures - round by round - later on today. So we will get some transparency, no matter what the outcome is for England.

1515: The wait is almost over. The announcement of the hosts for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups will take place within the next 10 minutes.

MaximHarper on Twitter: "England IS football, and England deserves the honour of hosting the beautiful game the nation relishes on! Bring it on!"

BBC producer Joan Soley, in Washington DC: "I'm in a crowd of about 200 people eagerly watching the two-story tall screen at the at the Newseum building. In contrast to elsewhere, there is a noticeable lack of tension in the room - instead, a sea of smiling faces awaiting the outcome of the US 2022 bid."

1505: The BBC understands that voting has now finished.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live sports news correspondent Gordon Farquhar in Zurich on Twitter: "Snappers are in the throng now, lots of flashlights. Filling up with journos and observers now... slight delay, but off fairly soon I think."

1505: At last, the auditorium is beginning to fill up. Uefa president Michel Platini is among those to have taken their seat. This would suggest that an announcement is, if not exactly imminent, not far off now.

1502: How is everyone doing? Hanging in there? Good. Don't worry, not long to go now - just take a few deep breaths and you will be fine. Still no news from Fifa HQ but as soon as I spot Sepp Blatter and/or a couple of important-looking envelopes then I will let you know.

From BBC Russia's Rafael Saakov in Moscow: "Minutes to go and I'm in a Moscow pub with Russian fans - most of them telling me they're "optimistic"."

From Michael in London via text: "Re 1442. Extra voting rounds? The delay was likely caused by Sepp demanding a second helping of the sherry trifle!"

England captain Rio Ferdinand on Twitter: "Give us the World Cup please Mr Blatter, I'll sort u free tickets 2 games I swear down!!"

1449: It might not be happening for a little while yet, but you can watch the build-up to the announcement of the hosts for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups live on BBC2 and on this website (UK only), and also listen on BBC Radio 5 live. You could even do all three - but make sure you also simultaneously cross as many fingers as you can too.

1442: I wish I could tell you what this delay means, and whether it is good or bad from England's point of view. But we don't know when voting started, whether extra rounds of voting have forced the announcement back and, if they have, for which World Cup (2018 or 2022) and which bidders are involved. In summary, we don't know very much. Bloomin' secret ballots have got a lot to answer for.

From Dean in Luton, via text: "As much as I'd love to see it here, if Fifa want to prove this is a global game and have a lasting effect worldwide, Russia and Qatar should be the hosts. It's the World Cup, let's take it around the world. "

BBC sports news correspondent James Pearce on Twitter: "A source at FIFA has just told me that the voting is still going on. The announcement is likely to be later than scheduled."

1432: Just in case there are any Fifa executive committee members reading this who are yet to make up their minds, here's a guide to the strengths and weaknesses of England's rivals for the 2018 World Cup. (If you are actually on the ex-com, then this would be a particularly good time to look at their weaknesses.)

howrdl on Twitter: "This reminds me of GCSE results day except, you know, this actually means something."

niki9dorz on Twitter: "It's 6am here in Vancouver, Canada. Been up all night waiting for the result, its like Christmas Eve! ENGLAND for 2018!!!"

From BBC Brazil's Anelise Infante in Madrid: "I'm waiting for the 2018 announcement in a cafe in Madrid. The feeling here is that Russia will win. Fans around me think the Russians' strongest card is the fact that they've never had a chance to host a major football tournament."

BBC sports news correspondent James Pearce on Twitter: "Gary Lineker says a number of voters told him that England's presentation was the best. Sir Keith Mills, former board member and now England 2018 ambassador, tells BBC "I think we might just pull this off"."

From Chris in Telford, via text: "With all the talk of 2018 who's looking good for 2022? Surely Japan, South Korea and USA are too recent to get it again? Love to see it go to Australia."

Former England captain and bid ambassador Gary Lineker on England's chances in the voting process for the right to host 2018 World Cup: "It's hard to know. The executive committee don't give anything away. There are some that you can rely on and others that you might not be able to. It's not like a football match where you know when you are 1-0 down or 1-0 up. No-one really knows how many votes we can be guaranteed to get past even the first stage. If we do that, you can see a scenario where we get to the last round of voting but we have to get there first."

1412: I'm told the announcement about who will host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups will now take place at 1510 GMT. That's only an extra 10 minutes for us all to wait - you can handle that, right?

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live sports news correspondent Gordon Farquhar in Zurich on Twitter: "General feed-back is this will be very tight indeed. Members voting now, supposedly. Told we won't get a round by round breakdown."

1405: Right then. We now have less than an hour to go until Sepp Blatter opens those envelopes (not that I am counting the hours, minutes or seconds). The suspense is killing me.

BBC sports news correspondent James Pearce on Twitter: "Rumours and counter rumours swirling around Zurich. Just imagine the nerves in bid team as they sit by their phones."

From Kris in Leicester, via text: "I just did my own round by round calculation and had us losing to Spain and Portugal in the final round. It was 11-11 but they won courtesy of Sepp Blatter's vote."

England up
1346: We haven't had much in the way of info from Zurich since the presentations ended - blame Fifa's secret ballot for that. But, with just over an hour to go until the winners are announced, here's some breaking news - and it is quite encouraging too. BBC Sport's editor David Bond says a Fifa executive committee member has told him that England's presentation has made a "big difference". How big? We will have to wait and see...

OptaJoe on Twitter: "6 - Should England win their bid to be the 2018 World Cup hosts, they will become the 6th country to have hosted the event twice. Hopeful."

BBC sports news correspondent Tim Franks in Madrid: "Privately, senior government figure says the mood in the Spain/Portugal delegation is pessimistic. One thing is certain: the bid and the vote very low profile here... not much in the papers or on billboards."

matt_farrington on Twitter: "Sitting here in my living room in Brisbane, Australia, barely able to contain myself. This could change my country forever."

1330: Right, I've officially had enough of waiting now. Can we move the whole 'opening envelopes' process forward by an hour-and-a-half please? Or could Fifa president Sepp Blatter not just tweet the winners now?

From smellslikesalmon on 606: "Yes, Paul the Octopus would come in really handy during this nervous wait. Deep fried, wedge of lemon, chilled glass of sauvignon blanc... never fails to ease the tension."

From I was George Bests Left Foot on 606: "Paul the Octopus will turn in his grave if his final prediction that England will host the World Cup in 2018 doesn't materialise."

robingoepel on Twitter: "I'm so nervous! Just watched the video of London winning the 2012 Olympics. It'd be amazing to experience that feeling again."

1315: One of the talking points so far today in Zurich has been the polished performance of community worker Eddie Afekafe in England's presentation. But who is he? Well, the 27-year-old coaches 300 people in Moss Side and east Manchester as part of Manchester City's Football in the Community programme. After four years out of work, his life changed when he gained Prince's Trust backing for an FA coaching scheme and went on to become head coach for the Football Foundation's Kickz programme.

BBC sports news correspondent James Pearce on Twitter: "If Fifa stick to their word and keep the numbers for each round of voting secret then this process will be less transparent than ever. In the past Fifa have released the voting numbers for each round."

From BBC Brazil's Anelise Infante in Madrid: "The Spanish media believe that the Iberian bid would get at least nine votes from: Cameroon, Qatar, Ivory Cost, Egypt, Turkey, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Spain. The president of the Spanish Football Federation, Angel Maria Villar, has tried to woo the representative of Guatemala, as well."

1302: We can only speculate on how the voting process will pan out in the inner sanctum of Fifa HQ in Zurich, but BBC Sport's editor David Bond has given his thoughts on how England might succeed. "If England can get enough votes to progress past the first round and the Netherlands-Belgium are eliminated, England would hope that the latter's supporters - Uefa president Michel Platini and Belgium's Dr Michel D'Hooghe - would switch to them. That could give the England bid enough votes to beat the Russians and set up a showdown with Spain-Portugal in the final round."

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live sports news correspondent Gordon Farquhar in Zurich on Twitter: "Fifa grandees been lunching, soon voting. Might take a while. Horse trading over beer and sandwiches? possibly. Well, red wine and ragout."

From BBC Russia's Rafael Saakov in Moscow: "Breaking news from Russia: Prime Minister Putin is ready to leave for Zurich if Russia wins the bid. This was confirmed by press-secretary Dmitry Peskov."

From Steve in Edinburgh, via text: "Re 1139. Sorry, it should go to Russia, we can't compete with a video of a bemused camel. Russia to get it and the camel to be the mascot."

From Kieran in Belfast, via text: "This is the typical 'we're English, we're clearly better' mentality. Both Russia and Iberia's bids are better and more valid. Russia's presentation was best by far."

From Peter in Liverpool, via text: "If England pull this off, David Beckham should receive a knighthood. His influence over the last few days and his emotional speech today, which certainly put a lot of the other countries committee members to shame, has turned our bid from an also ran to a front runner. Arise Sir David."

1238: If you are in any way cynical about the voting process then you should read BBC sports news correspondent James Pearce's blog about the bidding war for the 2006 World Cup - and how it showed that no vote is ever a done deal. Pearce explains: "Late at night on the eve of the vote, it all changed. The four Asian members of the executive committee were angry with Sepp Blatter about the amount of slots their countries were being given at the next World Cup. They had told him they were switching their support from South Africa to Germany in protest. In one evening, the pendulum had swung away from South Africa. It was a major upset."

1230: So far, today has been all about the race for 2018, but let's not forget the five contenders for the 2022 World Cup are also waiting in eager anticipation. The United States, Australia, Qatar, South Korea and Japan all made their presentations on Wednesday - with the latter promising to pave 400 stadiums around the world with 3-D flat screens to show life-size matches from thousands of miles away. Will they serve virtual pies at half-time too?

From BBC Brazil's Anelise Infante in Madrid: "Cristiano Ronaldo - speaking here in Madrid - has just said he feels proud of the Iberian bid and he believes in it: "I hope this dream comes true", he says, "Portugal and Spain are like brothers". He said he wanted to be in Zurich today "but as everyone knows it was impossible" because of his injury."

From Ed in Exeter, via text: "The presentations won't make the slightest difference. What counts is the wheeling and dealing done behind closed doors over the last few months."

From Martin in Wigan, via text: "Our bid is superior and I think we have done enough. The passion shown from David Beckham, the Prime Minister and Prince William all attending and all putting on a united front for England showing how our country feels about this was outstanding!"

1215: So who are the men who will decide the destiny of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups? That would be the 22 members of Fifa's executive committee (there are usually 24 but Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii have been suspended after allegations of corruption). If you don't know much about Issa Hayatou or Michel D'Hooghe then now is the time to find out more - read our profiles of the men who are currently casting their votes in Zurich.

1209: Here's a quick reminder of how the voting process works. The first bid to gain an absolute majority of 12 votes wins but, if nobody manages that first time round, the bid with the fewest votes is eliminated and another round of voting begins. We repeat that process until we have a winner, with Fifa president Sepp Blatter holding the casting vote if two bids are level at 11 votes each. Got that? Good.

1202: And now for the wait. That's all we can do while the 22 members of Fifa's executive committee vote in a secret ballot... and we won't know the result for 2018 or 2022 until Sepp Blatter opens a very special envelope in Zurich in around three hours time. Where would your vote go, and have those presentations made any difference? Let me know: Tweet me at chrisbevan_bbc on Twitter, get in the mix on 606 or text me via 81111 (UK).

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live sports news correspondent Gordon Farquhar in Zurich on Twitter: "England win the battle of the presentations, with Russia second, Belgium and Netherlands third, Iberia distant 4th. Any relation to vote?"

BBC sports news correspondent James Pearce on Twitter: "If anybody had written off Russia because of Putin's absence, their presentation's shown they're still strong contenders."

From BBC Brazil's Anelise Infante in Madrid: "Spanish fans are complaining about England's presentation showing Liverpool striker Fernando Torres. "He's OURS!", shouts a group of supporters here in Madrid. "It's not fair!"."

From NemanjasDisciple on 606: "Russia will have strong stadiums, very good policies for ticket holders in free travel and apparently no need for visas. Its a very strong bid, no doubt about it. Add that to the fact that Eastern Europe hasn't had one before. I'd say they are the main threat to the England bid."

1144: Fifa president Sepp Blatter says the Russian pitch was a "very interesting one". They leave the stage, and the four 2018 presentations are all done and dusted. That leaves just the voting, and announcement of who will host the 2018 and 2022 World Cup to come. Yes, I know you want to know right now - but we are going to have to wait until around 1500 GMT to find out the winners.

1139: Time for the final Russian video clip. Footballs are dropping out of the sky all over the country, to the bemusement of a camel.

1135: The Russian presentation is almost over. Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov makes a heartfelt plea to Fifa about their hopes of hosting the tournament for the first time: "Choosing Russia, you have no risk at all. Any decision you take will be a historic one, but only one you take will make history. Let us make history together."

From Jonny in Exeter, via text: "Great passion from Arshavin, lots of emotion, but when he called himself a "simple football player" I couldn't help but think of a certain meerkat!"

From BBC Russia's Pavel Bandakov in Fifa media centre, Zurich: A former Russian member of Fifa's executive committee, Vyacheslav Koloskov, has told us that he believes the absence of Prime Minister Putin means the Russian bid could lose "one or two votes"."

Russia up
1127: Double Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva has just been on stage, and provided a lot more charisma on her own than the entire Spain/Portugal bid could manage. Now it's Andrey Arshavin's turn, and he is just as emotional as David Beckham was earlier. The Arsenal star wipes away the tears from his eyes and says "believe in us, believe in Russia".

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live sports news correspondent Gordon Farquhar in Zurich on Twitter: "Russia having fun. Good map showing western Europe leading 10-0 over Eastern Europe in hosting World Cups."

1120: Another video by the Russians. It's about their stadia. Not sure if this is a dream, or real?

1117: As promised, you can now check out David Beckham's passionate performance in England's World Cup presentation on the BBC website. Essential viewing if you missed it, and definitely worth a second look too.

1113: Brilliant. The young lad is about to score the winning goal for Russia (against Italy) in the 2018 World Cup final when he is woken up by his mother. Turns out it was all a dream. It had me fooled.

1110: For all of you that have asked, I'll let you know as soon as the England presentation is available to watch again on this website. In the meantime, Russia are showing a video about what hosting the 2018 tournament will mean to a young boy. Lots of travelling, and ball-juggling by the looks of things.

1108: A bit of a dig at Spain/Portugal by Alexey Sorokin, the chief executive of Russia's bid, in his opening gambit. He tells Fifa they had two options for this pitch, either boring them to death with facts and figures or showing them what they have in their hearts. They have gone for the latter, which is a relief.

From BBC Russia's Rafael Saakov in Moscow: "Headlines in Russian morning newspapers: 'Russia in 2018 - it's our chance!' and 'If we get through to the second round, we can win'."

1104: Sepp Blatter is back, which means the Russian presentation is about to start.

From BBC Brasil's Anelise Infante in Madrid: "Spanish media on the English presentation highlights the presence of football stars, in particular David Beckham and Sir Alex Ferguson, calling them the 'heavy artillery'."

1059: Arsenal's Andrey Arshavin is part of the Russian delegation that will be appearing on stage in Zurich any time now. He will be joined by, among others, opera singer Anna Netrebko. Should be interesting.

Torresque on 606: "Portugal held a major tournament as recently as 2004. Most of the strengths of the Iberian bid lie with Spain, maybe they would have been better off hosting it by themselves."

From Lukas, via text: "Netherlands/Belgium - pure comedy. Spain/Portugal - drab, boring and nervous. Come on England, the only serious contender - let's do it again!!!"

1051: Unsurprisingly, you lot seem very impressed by the England pitch. As well as Becks, Eddie Afekafe was also the star of the show. Just shows that you don't need to be a big name to make a huge impact. In about four hours time, we will find out if it made any difference to the vote...

From Nicola in Portsmouth, via text: "Football so proud. We did our best. We should be proud whatever way this goes. But gosh, don't we deserve to win it after that?! Amazing."

From BBC Russia's Pavel Bandakov in Fifa media centre, Zurich: "Latest speculation here by my Russian journalist colleagues is that there is a chance that President Medvedev could come over to support Russia's presentation scheduled to begin at 1100 GMT."

From BBC Brazil's Jair Rattner in Lisbon: "A Portuguese commentator on Channel TV1 is claiming the English presentation is inferior to the Iberian one: "To say the best players are in England should be called blasphemy."

1039: So, just the Russian presentation to come (at 1100 GMT), minus their Prime Minister Vladimir Putin of course. Then, the voting begins. How are you feeling after watching England's pitch? It was pretty good, I think. Great work by David Beckham in particular.

From Rob in Rotherham, via text: "Wow that was passionate from Becks, almost tears in my eyes. Come on England... Come on Fifa!"

BBC sports news correspondent James Pearce on Twitter: "This is a very strong presentation from England."

1034: With lots of clips of foreign Premier League players (including Spain's Fernando Torres) throughout, and of foreign fans too, England are clearly trying to press home that their bid is a global affair. That's a wrap - and Fifa president Sepp Blatter thanks the England delegation for an "excellent remarkable presentation".

England up
1029: An emotional David Beckham talks about the influence that Sir Bobby Charlton has had on his career, and also his late grandad Joe, who died a year ago today at the age of 83 when Beckham was about to fly out to South Africa for the draw for the 2010 World Cup. The former England captain then explains how having the 2018 World Cup in England can affect future generations just as much. "Just imagine what we can achieve together."

ConnorArmstrong on Twitter: "Isn't it just great to see everyone coming together as one? United, City, Wenger and Fergie, England United-World Invited!"

1026: Time for David Beckham to have his say.

From Paul in Christchurch, via text: "Watching this with a lump in my throat! Come on Fifa, give it to us!"

1022: Premier League managers Arsene Wenger, Harry Redknapp and Roberto Mancini all feature in the next video... as well as Sir Alex Ferguson. From pitches to medical facilities, they say England has the best set-up in the world.

1020: Andy Anson says a record 28m fans will be able to experience the World Cup in England, thanks to easily accessible fan fests, and accommodation will be easily affordable for all.

1019: David Cameron promised Fifa that England would deliver "the most spectacular World Cup in history". Here's Andy Anson, the bid's chief executive, to explain to Fifa exactly why England would be the right choice.

England up
1017: Here's the first video from England, with Elbow's 'One Day Like This' as the soundtrack. It's got 'beautiful day' in the lyrics so I see what they did there. Plenty of passion on display, from foreign players in the Premier League and fans all around the world, and a cameo appearance from Rio Ferdinand at the end too.

1013: More from David Cameron: "We can provide a home crowd for every team, and every fan in every one of our cities will feel at home." He's also promising Fifa that England will put on a great show - "every day will be a beautiful day".

1011: Here is Prime Minister David Cameron to hammer home how the whole nation is behind England's World Cup bid. He says: "Today, we just want to convince you of one thing, that England is the right host for 2018."

1008: Prince William, president of the Football Association, takes over. HRH says having a World Cup in England will change the lives of people like Eddie, all over the world. He manages to mention his forthcoming wedding too - so far, so good.

1005: Eddie Afekafe, who works with Manchester City on their community football programmes, opens England's bid. He's talking about the opportunities afforded to him by football - and how hosting the World Cup will change the lives of millions of people like him.

1003: Here we go. Fifa president Sepp Blatter is back, to introduce the English delegation.

1001: The Iberian presentation overran by about 10 minutes, so I think England might be delayed a bit before they get going. Are you feeling nervous? Me too... and the voting hasn't even started yet.

dannytotman on Twitter: "Re 0946. No pressure boys, the hope of English footy fans rest on your shoulders, hopefully performance is better than on the pitch!"

0951: If you've just joined us, and are wondering what exactly is going on, I'll quickly explain. The four contenders for the 2018 World Cup are making their final bid presentations in Zurich before Fifa's exectutive committee retires to begin the voting process. Netherlands/Belgium and Spain/Portugal have just made their (very different) pitches, and the scene is set for England to take to the stage before Russia wrap things up at 1100 GMT. The decision on who will be hosts in 2018 and 2022 will be announced by Fifa president Sepp Blatter at around 1500 GMT.

0946: England's presentation will include Prince William, Prime Minister David Cameron and David Beckham all speaking as part of their five-man team. The other speakers are bid chief executive Andy Anson and Eddie Afekafe, a bid ambassador who works with Manchester City on their community football programmes.

0943: Thankfully, the video to wrap up the Spain/Portugal bid is a bit more upbeat than what came before it - lots of emphasis on the next generation of fans and how much they will enjoy the tournament. Anyway, that's a wrap - next up, at 1000 GMT, is England.

From Simon in Eastbourne, via text: "How can such a passionate country like Spain put in such an uninspiring performance? I've got a feeling our bid is gonna knock it out of the park!"

From anon, via text: "Just fell off my chair after dozing off to the Iberian bid. Let's hope Becks can charm the pants off them."

0932: Blast, I'm not even sure we are going to see Eusebio now. The Iberian presentation is still going on, but it hasn't got any better. Pedro Mourinho is wrapping things up, I think, but he is dragging things out a bit.

0925: Ah, here's Gilberto Madail, the Iberian bid deputy president. Sadly, it doesn't look like he is going to liven up proceedings. It's all down to Eusebio, I think...

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live sports news correspondent Gordon Farquhar in Zurich on Twitter: "Transition from workman-like to dull complete. Uninspiring stuff so far from Spain/Portugal."

Spain/Portugal down
0919: Fair to say that, in terms of entertainment, Spain/Portugal is not on the same level as Netherlands/Belgium so far. Lots of facts, not much fun. I'm just looking forward to hearing from Eusebio.

@scottdunc79 on Twitter: "A Scot in Notts, good luck to England for decision but if this weather keeps up how about GB for the Winter Olympics later this decade?"

0914: Miguel Angel Lopez, the managing director of the Iberian bid, takes to the stage. He's talking logistics - and says Spain and Portugal have cities and stadiums that 'live football', enjoy excellent transport links and will provide top class facilities for players and fans.

0910: Here's the first Iberian video. No sign of the Monkees so far, but lots of clips from the last World Cup - mostly of Spain, understandably.

From JWTA on 606: "Gut feeling is that Spain/Portugal will get it but 'Netherium' presentation was good and cannot deny how good the atmosphere was in Euro 2000, especially in Holland."

0907: Jose Luiz Rodriguez claims Spain and Portugal enjoy 300 days of sunshine each year. Might be tricky for England to compete with that...

0905: Jose Socrates, who sounds like he should be a pretty handy footballer, says the Spain/Portugal bid is a global one, not just for Europe. He points at the close relations both countries have with South America, Africa and Asia, and says they have top-class infrastructure already in place. Hard to argue with that last point in regard to stadia.

0900: Portgual legend Eusebio will feature in the Iberian presentation, which is just about to start. Portugal prime minister Jose Socrates and Spanish president Jose Luiz Rodriguez will kick things off.

0857: Former Football Association executive David Davies says he has gone from believing England might win the 2018 bid last week, to now feeling they would secure the tournament. "I do believe the good news here is very few people would doubt that the England bid has momentum, and that could take England home here," he told BBC Radio 5 live.

0855: England have been here before, relatively recently, waiting patiently for the result of a vote for the right to host a World Cup. Only that time, when the 2006 tournament was up for grabs, the result was the wrong one (unless you are German). What has changed? Quite a lot, according to Alec McGiven, who was director of that unsuccessful bid. He told BBC One's Breakfast programme: "This bid has got a much stronger hand to play. There have been 10 years of overseas development with Fifa and we have a member on the executive committee in Geoff Thompson, but it's going to be very close. This is a contest where one vote can make the difference. That could be the case today. It could go right to the wire."

From Joe, via text: "When I started following this a few days ago I thought that Holland/Belgium should be favourites for 2018 and couldn't understand why they weren't in the running. I believe there is some politicising to blame for that, but their presentation also seemed quite low key, as if they severely doubted their own chances."

0846: After Spain/Portugal, there are two more 2018 presentations to come, with England at 1000 GMT and Russia at 1100 GMT. If you want a full run down on all the countries bidding for 2018 and 2022, then why not check out our handy guide elsewhere on this website which lists the pros and cons of all the contenders, why they think they should win, and whether they will.

BBC Radio 5 live
0840: As I'm sure you have heard, there were some unsavoury clashes between rival fans following Wednesday's Carling Cup quarter-final between Birmingham and Aston Villa. Will it affect England's 2018 World Cup chances? BBC Radio 5 live sports news correspondent BBC Radio 5 live sports news correspondent Gordon Farquhar thinks not: "My view - last night's crowd trouble doesn't hurt England's bid. England given credit by Fifa for tackling hooliganism. Global problem."

oscrisp on Twitter: "For the 2018 bid, if England don't win, I think the best World Cup would be Spain/Portugal. For 2022, its gotta be USA or Oz."

Netherlands/Belgium up
0834: Some clever use of some legendary players (and innovative editing) there to show the impact that the Netherlands and Belgium have had on past World Cups, but with an up-to-date environmental message too, and an emphasis on how much fun fans will have in the Low Countries. The next contenders to make their presentation will be Spain/Portugal at 0900 GMT - will we see the Monkees feature in their pitch too?

0828: The Dutch/Netherlands bid say their World Cup will be the greenest ever, with 2m bikes provided to help fans cycle around. Ruud Gullit, wrapping up, says "this is not a gimmick, it is the way our people travel". He then points at a map of Europe to show that all their neighbours have hosted World Cups - now they want their turn.

0824: Here's Guus on stage now, talking about how Euro 2000 proved that Belgium and the Netherlands can host a top-class football tournament, and how, despite their size, they can provide the same atmosphere as any of the World Cups he has coached at.

0820: Hmmm. Here's something I didn't expect to see. A 'comedy' video clip showing Guus Hiddink and his various World Cup adventures with various nations over the past couple of decades, with the Monkees' 'Daydream Believer' as the backing track.

From Scott in Hertfordshire, via text: "Come on England. I hope we do win it but I'm not too convinced we will - but we weren't favourites to host the Olympics in 2012 so anything is possible!"

0815: Johan Cruyff concentrated on the legacy of the tournament, now legendary Belgian goalkeeper Jean-Marie Pfaff is here to explain how the Low Countries will provide a unique experience for fans. Safety seems to be a big part of their bid - Ruud Gullit mentioned it earlier too.

SeanCartwright6 on Twitter: "What a few years of sport it would be if we get the World Cup. London 2012 followed by England 2018."

0806: Ruud Gullit, the president of the Dutch/Belgian bid, takes to the stage to explain why the compact size of their countries will be of benefit. Give this page a manual refresh and, if you're in the UK, you can see what Johan Cruyff has got to say for himself.

0802: The Dutch/Belgians are showing some cracking vintage video featuring Johan Cryuff being interviewed in the 1970s, but cleverly dubbed so he is talking about why their 2018 bid should be successful.

0755: The five bidders for the 2022 tournament made their final pitch on Wednesday, and now it's the turn of the nations going for 2018. The joint bid from Belgium/Netherlands are the first to make their presentation, and they have just got started.

0753: These are your World Cups too you know? Wherever you are in the world, whoever you want to win and whatever it will mean to you, I want to hear about it. What are you waiting for then? Tweet me at chrisbevan_bbc on Twitter, join the regulars on 606 or text me via 81111 (UK).

0750: This is how today is going to work. The contenders for the 2018 tournament will make their final bid presentations at the Home of Fifa in Zurich from 0800 GMT onwards (England's turn is at 1000), before the Fifa executive committee retire to vote in a secret ballot. That's when the fun really begins - the first bid to gain an absolute majority of 12 votes from the 22 voting members wins but, if none of the bids manage that first time round, the bid with the fewest votes is eliminated and another round of voting begins. That process is repeated until we have a winner, with Sepp Blatter holding the casting vote if two bids are tied at 11 votes each.

0748: Yep, the race for the right to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups is almost over. England are one of four bidders for the 2018 competition, hoping to end a 52-year wait to host the world's biggest football tournament for the first time since 1966. There are five contenders for 2022, and all the nations involved are waiting expectantly for Fifa president Sepp Blatter to reveal the winners, at around 1500 GMT. When he opens that envelope, then the partying will start - somewhere.

0745 GMT: So, this is it. It's finally here - the day we find out whether football will be coming home in 2018.

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see also
Bidders in final World Cup pleas
02 Dec 10 |  Football
Beckham has faith in Fifa members
01 Dec 10 |  Football
World Cup vote photos
02 Dec 10 |  Football
The race to host the World Cup
30 Nov 10 |  Football
The World Cup in their hands
02 Dec 10 |  Football
World Cup vote explained
30 Nov 10 |  Football
World Cup dreams
01 Dec 10 |  Milton Keynes
Cameron focused on World Cup bid
30 Nov 10 |  Football

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