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Sunday, 9 July, 2000, 13:17 GMT 14:17 UK
England bid a non-starter - Hoey
Kate Hoey
Hoey has spoken out against the FA's efforts
The Sports Minister Kate Hoey has said she believes England's bid to host the 2006 World Cup was doomed to failure right from the start.

Germany is to host the 2006 World Cup after beating favourites South Africa. England's bid had been eliminated in an earlier ballot, along with that of outsiders Morocco.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Ms Hoey said: "There's a problem if you start off the bidding process and you haven't even got the support of your own region."

Of the eight Uefa delegates, England picked up just one vote, from Scotland's David Will, while Germany took the other seven.

The delegates apparently believed the rumour that England had reneged on a gentleman's agreement to back Germany in their efforts to win the right to host the tournament.


Our bid team worked hard, but I'm sure they will look back and think they made mistakes
Kate Hoey
But she also feels that Germany benefited from having a member on Uefa's decision-making board - and without a voice on the inside to support England's campaign it was foolish to mount a bid in the first place.

"Clearly we've had no influence on world bidding until this year when Geoff Thompson has gone onto the Uefa executive committee," she said.

"That's how Germany got their influence, not by leaving it to the last minute and then going round the world.

"Our bid team worked hard and everyone would want to pay tribute to the work they did.

"But I'm sure, on reflection, they will look back and think they made mistakes - that's inevitable."

'Intolerable pressure'

Her comments follow the resignation of Fifa's New Zealand football representative Charles Dempsey, who is at the centre of the World Cup voting scandal.

The president of the Oceania Football Confederation ignored their instruction to vote for South Africa to host the 2006 World Cup. His abstention meant Germany controversially won the vote.

The reason for the abstention is still unclear but Dempsey has spoken of "intolerable pressure", though earlier reports of death threats have been denied.

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 ON THIS STORY
Kate Hoey
"There's a problem if you haven't even got the support of your own region"
See also:

07 Jul 00 | 2006 World Cup decision
09 Jul 00 | 2006 World Cup decision
07 Jul 00 | 2006 World Cup decision
Links to more 2006 World Cup decision stories are at the foot of the page.


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