Daggers boss Still’s despair at failed England World Cup 2018 bid

Veteran manager fears ‘outside influences’ affected decision

Dagenham & Redbridge boss John Still has joined the chorus of English football fans in expressing his despair at the country’s failed bid to host the 2018 World Cup.

Russia earlier won the race to stage the event for the first time, while England, despite an impressive bid, were eliminated in the first round of voting.

“I’m gutted,” said Still. “I don’t know why, but I just really thought we would get it.

“Not that the others weren’t, but I saw our bid and thought it was great.

“We have fantastic stadiums, fantastic transport and everything was in place that we could have had in place

“I’m just absolutely gutted, it’s a big disappointment. Two weeks ago I wasn’t as confident, but today I thought we’d get it.”

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The Daggers boss also said he felt FIFA may have been adversely influenced by investigative journalism from the BBC Panorama programme and the Sunday Times, while also admonishing the Birmingham City fans who ran onto the pitch after their Carling Cup quarter-final against Aston Villa.

“I don’t think the events those at Birmingham last night would have helped,” he added.

“Like sport itself, sometimes these things are won and lost on the smallest details. I just outside factors haven’t influenced the decision.

“In fairness to Russia, England’s bid looked first class, so their’s must have been very, very good as well to beat it.”

On the domestic front, Dagenham & Redbridge officials are still hopeful that Saturday’s game against Huddersfield Town will be able to go ahead.

The Yorkshire club are due to leave for London at midday tomorrow (Friday) and Daggers are likely to make an announcement before then if the fixture cannot go ahead.

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