The FIFA executive committee on Thursday awarded the 2018 World Cup to Russia, giving the country the honor of hosting the world’s top sporting event for the first time and leaving England out in the cold for another cycle.
The Russian federation celebrated wildly following the announcement in Zürich, Switzerland, and the wait was certainly long enough. Russia had entered a previous bid only once before it was bestowed the honor Thursday, giving UEFA its first World Cup since Germany played host in 2006.
Another European heavyweight, however, was left on the outside looking in. England failed in its bid to land the World Cup for the first time since it won the tournament in 1966, despite boasting a delegation that included Prince William and LA Galaxy star David Beckham.
Joint bids from Spain and Portugal and Belgium and the Netherlands failed in their attempt to land the World Cup.