By Richard Clarke

Arsène Wenger admitted he was “speechless” when England were not given the 2018 World Cup and switched off his television immediately.

The Arsenal manager had been a firm advocate that football should ‘come home’ in eight years time. The Frenchman believes the technical element of England’s proposal was “perfect” and receiving only two votes in the ballot was “not rational”.

However he argues that the biggest problem to arise from this saga is that we now don’t really know what criteria DOES secure a World Cup.

“When England didn’t get the World Cup I turned it all off, so I didn’t see the Qatar decision,” said Wenger.

“It is difficult to explain to people that the technical bid of England was perfect but you get only two votes.

“It is not rational. That’s why maybe we have to get a bid process that is far more technical and computerised than human. You feel it is more down to human decision than providing the technical criteria.

“At the moment we don’t know what wins and loses the World Cup bid. That’s where football has to improve.

“I’m humble enough to accept that I am completely wrong. But I’m speechless because I don’t understand what happened That’s why people should know ‘this is the criteria, this is the weight of the criteria’. People are intelligent enough to create a kind of programme that makes it more understandable for everyone.

“If you are beaten in some areas by other countries, then at least you know where you have been beaten.”

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3 Dec 2010