The Guardian's Said & Done World Cup vote special: Sepp's best bits, the ExCo highlights, plus the Mail on why England really lost
How Sepp's big decision was made easier:
1) Leaked US cable describes Russia as "a rampantly corrupt, autocratic kleptocracy" run by a leader who has "amassed a massive secret fortune" by running a "mafia state" based on "personal enrichment, protection for gangsters, extortion and kickbacks, suitcases full of money, a parallel tax system and bribery estimated at $300bn a year".
2) Sepp: "Congratulations to Russia! Clearly, I am a satisfied man."
Highlights from the last three months as Sepp set about shaping his legacy ("I'm working to make football a school of life, bringing hope, bringing emotions!"):
• Best individual performance: Executive Committee member Amos Adamu – caught in the bribery sting four months after telling colleagues facing separate fraud charges how they should behave. "The public sees every football administrator as corrupt, and I cannot explain why it is so. We must always be transparent to prove them wrong!"
• Runner-up: Former ExCo member Ismael Bhamjee – caught in the same sting, four years after his first one: exposed in 2006 for touting World Cup tickets at three times face value to supplement his £270 daily Fifa expenses. "I got myself in a mess," Bhamjee said at the time. "This was out of character."
• Best award: Former ExCo member Viacheslav Koloskov – travelling to Asunción in October to lobby current ExCo member Nicolás Léoz for Russia's bid. Léoz (accused by Panorama of taking £450k in bribes) honoured Koloskov (who received an unauthorised £65k payment from Sepp in 2002) with an award for "services to football and its principles".
• Best analysis: also from Koloskov – greeting the publication of the bids' expensive technical reports in November: "I know from my own experience that ExCo members work with little information. The inspection reports are enormous, so no one reads them."
• Best timing: October – Russia's sports minister Vitaly Mutko attacks the British press for "obsessive" analysis of Russia's racism record. Also that month: Russian football agent Vladimir Abramov gives an interview to Sport.ru about how Nigerians ruin Russian cities with "their drugs, and ultimately, their Aids". Abramov: "Teams shouldn't have more than one dark-skinned footballer. When there's more than one they are aggressive"; plus: "I am very respectful towards blacks, but Russia isn't ready for them." FIfa's view: "Racism will not be taken into account in the bidding process … It is not an operation matter".
• Best outrage: Mutko again, on why attention from the English press left him exasperated. "No matter what we say we are portrayed by them as a hotbed of corruption. It is not true." Later that week: Russian authorities launch a criminal investigation into alleged fraud at Mutko's ministry, including Mutko's own expenses claim for 97 breakfasts eaten during a 20-day trip to Vancouver.
• Best defenders: Fifa ExCo members on the "slanders" against Sepp's process:
1) Jérôme Valcke (sacked in 2006 for "lying repeatedly" to potential sponsors and reappointed by Sepp in 2007): "We have done everything we can to make sure this process is fair and transparent."
2) Chuck Blazer (called a liar "without credibility" by a US judge in 2006): "You can't say the system is bad just because one newspaper created a scam, a trap."
3) Jack Warner (totally clean): "We preach equity… we live by our principle of fair play!"
4) Plus: Angel María Villar Llona – making an epic address to colleagues in Zurich: "I love Fifa dearly but those I love the most are my colleagues in the ExCo. Recently we have been criticised by certain media, but unfortunately for them, Fifa is a clean institution. We have heard enough slander. This process is clean – whatever they say!"
• Proudest media campaign: The Sun, writing an open letter to Sepp on the eve of voting, attacking Panorama's "sabotage" of England's bid. "Today The Sun makes this plea to Mr Blatter and Fifa: don't be put off by the BBC's rehashing of ancient history. Despite BBC muckraking, The Sun trusts Fifa to put football first." (3 Dec, The Sun: "FIXED! FIFA BUNGS RUSSIA THE WORLD CUP … Calls for corruption probe …")
• Plus: the best single assessment of why England lost – seven weeks before the vote: former ExCo member Ahongalu Fusimalohi, also caught in the Sunday Times sting, warning that England must offer bribes. "England don't strike deals. It's sad but it's true." Fusimalohi explained: "It is corrupt – but only if you get caught."
Clean break: moving on
Next for Sepp after a tough few months: a chance for some clean PR in the build-up to Brazil 2014. Overseeing the tournament: Fifa ExCo member Ricardo Teixeria – due in court this week in Rio over alleged money laundering, tax evasion and "other economic crimes". Teixeria, who denies wrongdoing, was due in court last week, but secured a postponement so he could vote in Zurich.
And finally: why England really lost
The Daily Mail on why England's bid failed: "Was it the video that cost us?" The Mail says the film shown during England's bid presentation in Zurich was "un-English", too "multi-cultural" and relied on "a range of ethnically diverse figures".
(Online comments on the story from Mail readers: • "It makes me sick when we have this 'multicultural' rubbish rubbed in our faces" • "This country is dying" • "You couldn't make it up, we Brits have to put up with this nonsense every day" • "Fools! Multi cultural idiots!!!" • "Well done Daily Mail for having the courage to speak up" • plus: "If only Diana were here to see what this nation has become.")
London mayor takes revenge on FIFA
Boris Johnson has taken revenge on Sepp Blatter and the other FIFA delegates who destroyed England’s bid to host the World Cup by kicking them out of London’s Dorchester hotel for the 2012 Olympic Games. London Mayor Mr Johnson, the official host of the Olympics, has withdrawn the offer to demonstrate his fury at the way FIFA threw out England’s bid.
Well-placed sources said that when Mr Johnson met Mr Blatter in October, the FIFA boss made no secret of his ability to influence England’s fate. He told the Mayor: ‘What is the point of having power if you don’t wield it?’ Mr Blatter also reportedly indicated during his talks with Mr Johnson that he had been impressed by the number of glamorous women paraded in front of him during his visits to some of the rival bidding nations. He said: ‘I have seen a lot of beautiful girls in other countries.’
Mr Blatter and the FIFA delegates are used to staying in the world’s top hotels as they jet round the world, feted by governments desperate to host the World Cup. They regard The Dorchester as their London home and stayed there during the summer. Now they will have to settle for more modest accommodation. One official who witnessed the Zurich vote said: ‘As far as we are concerned they can stay in a B&B in the Old Kent Road and pay for it themselves to boot.’
Boris showing off his football skillz in a legends match against Germany:
"I'm a rugby player, really, and I knew I was going to get to him, and when he was about two yards away I just put my head down. There was no malice. I was going for the ball with my head, which I understand is a legitimate move in soccer.I thought it was a 50-50 ball."
Sources: 1 + 2