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 You are in: Special Events: 2000: 2006 World Cup decision  
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Thursday, 6 July, 2000, 11:58 GMT 12:58 UK
How England's bid failed
Fifa president Sepp Blatter, who favoured South Africa from the start
Fifa president Sepp Blatter, who favoured South Africa from the start
January 1997
England announce they will bid to host the 2006 World Cup.

8 January 1998
Franz Beckenbauer suggests a joint bid between Germany and England, claiming that separate bids will hand the tournament to South Africa.

9 January 1998
Incoming Fifa president Sepp Blatter is reported to have already promised the tournament to South Africa.

23 January 1998
The English committee claim they are favourites to win the race - but so far the only other country to formally enter are Germany.

11 March 1998
Prime Minister Tony Blair throws his weight behind the bid and meets Fifa top man Dr Joao Havelange.

15 March 1998
After the meeting, Havelange gives his personal support to England.

23 March 1998
With South Africa coming into the equation, England bring on board five official sponsors - British Airways, Littlewoods, Marks and Spencer, Nationwide and Umbro.

21 June 1998
As some England fans riot in Marseille during the World Cup, Sports Minister Tony Banks says the trouble has not harmed England's bid

26 October 1998
Tony Blair meets new Fifa president Sepp Blatter. Despite claims that the success of Euro 96 puts England in the driving-seat, Blatter is known to still favour South Africa.

6 November 1998
The Financial Times reports that Blair has withdrawn his active support after overwhelming evidence that the tournament will go to South Africa.

16 November 1998
Graham Kelly resigns as chief executive of the Football League over a loan of 3.2m to the Welsh FA. England's 2006 bid is in turmoil.

18 December 1998
Newspapers report that the FA are paying the salary of Thailand's national coach Peter Withe in order to guarantee the support of the Thai member of Fifa's executive committee.

31 December 1999
South Africa formally enter the race.

8 March 1999
It is reported that Germany will receive all eight UEFA votes - leaving England in dire trouble.

30 June 1999
Manchester United withdraw from the FA Cup, at the bequest of the FA, so they can take part in the World Club Championships - considered vital to England's bid by the FA.

29 July 1999
Tony Banks resigns as Sports Minister and becomes special envoy to the bid.

9 August 1999
England's team make the formal presentation to Fifa, lead by Sir Bobby Charlton and Michael Owen.

21 October 1999
Fifa's team of inspectors tour England's facilities, and meet Tony Blair and sports minister Kate Hoey at 10 Downing Street.

10 January 2000
Despite Man United's poor performance in Rio, Alec McGivan, England's campaign leader, says their participation helped the bid, "enormously".

30 January 2000
Two Scottish Nationalist MPs announce they will support Germany against England.

13 March 2000
Nelson Mandela meets the Fifa delegation to boost South Africa's chances still further.

15 May 2000
Sepp Blatter says England have a, "strong chance."

3 June 2000
England play Malta in a Euro 2000 warm-up match, apparently to secure the vote of Fifa committee member Joseph Mifsud.

21 June 2000
Violence in Charleroi from England fans threatens the bid still further. Tony Banks says the situation is now, "very bleak".

30 June 2000
South Africa are seen as overwhelming favourites as Brazil pull out and pledge their support. Fifa rank England's facilities below those of South Africa and late contenders Germany, although Sir Geoff Hurst claims England have the, "best bid".

1 July 2000
Alec McGivan attacks Fifa and Uefa as leaks show England are dead in the water.

5 July 2000
Home Secretary Jack Straw announces fresh anti-hooligan measures in a desperate last-ditch attempt to save England's bid.

6 July 2000
England are eliminated in the second round of voting.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC's Mike Ingham
"An ill-conceived bid from the start - there is much ground to make up on and off the pitch"
MP Tony Banks
"We were actually very close to getting in to a tie position with South Africa"
Links to more 2006 World Cup decision stories are at the foot of the page.


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