Is anyone actually, really surprised that England lost out to Russia (and all the other competing bids, as it happens) in the race to host the World Cup finals in 2018? Not disappointed - I suspect millions of us are experiencing that emotion; no, surprised, because I'm not.
By common consent, we appear to have submitted the best technical and commercial bid to host the tournament, but ended up receiving just two votes out of a possible twenty-two in the first ballot - one of which was our own, apparently(!) and were consequently eliminated at that stage.
Was it a form of revenge against the repeated exposures of alleged corruption, (simply type the words 'FIFA corruption' into Google and you get pages of links, such as here, here, here and here), amongst FIFA officials by our media, as suggested in the linked article by Mark Palios and David Davies?
Very possibly, although Graham Taylor – he of the turnip head – dismisses that theory, suggesting, "England have had little or no influence. We are considered to be arrogant and know-alls."
I suspect it may be a combination of the two, with a little palm-greasing thrown in for good measure; but whatever the reason, we were resoundingly rejected by all but one of those entitled to vote and that is despite our sending the next but one King of England, the Prime Minister and, in David Beckham, one of the most iconic sports stars this country has ever produced, to pitch for us at the final presentations in Zurich.
Well, so be it. As a football fan, I hope that the Russians stage an excellent tournament that we can all enjoy in seven and a half years’ time. Ditto the Qataris – a country with a smaller landmass than the Falkland Islands and daytime summer temperatures of 50 degrees Celsius - in 2022.
Meanwhile, I sincerely hope that Messrs Blatter, Warner and co are going to conduct themselves like Caesar’s wife from now on; because I can guarantee that every investigative journalist in this country is currently working out how to further expose them as the deceitful, grubby criminals they really are.
And please, let's not delude ourselves that we have any hope of hosting the competition again in 2030 - the next time we'll be able to bid. Leave it to the corrupt narco-states and third world tyrannies with which the FIFA voting panel have so much in common.