David Beckham Submits England's 2018 World Cup Bid
David Beckham submits England's 2018 World Cup bid to Fifa President Sepp BlatterReuters

Nearly four years ago David Cameron, Prince William and David Beckham waited anxiously for Fifa President Sepp Blatter to announce who would host the 2018 and 2022 World Cup all of them blissfully unaware that their bid was rotten to the core.

Today's findings from the inquiry into the bidding processes to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups contains a litany of alleged corruption, inappropriate dealings and compromised integrity along the way.

Seven months earlier in Switzerland, when Beckham delivered to septuagenarian Blatter England's bid to host the 2018 showpiece, it was supposedly based on the country's readiness to stage a major tournament, with world-class stadia and transport connections already in place across the country.

Clubs including Manchester United rolled out the red carpet for Fifa's inspectors, Downing Street welcomed the governing body's delegates. Football, England 2018 believed, was coming home.

"Influence, favours and benefits" - the same old story

Dennis MacShane and Fred Goodwin
Dennis MacShane and Fred Goodwin were derided for their behaviour at the height of the MPs' expenses scandal and banking collapse respectivelyGetty

According to Fifa, England made a "full and valuable cooperation" to Fifa's investigation into the process that handed Russia and Qatar the 2018 and 2022 World Cups respectively.

That is contrary to Russia, who have said emails about its bid are now unreachable.

Well done the Football Association -- England 1 Russia 0. Back of the net!

But dig a little deeper and we find accusations that have increasingly chipped away at Britain's integrity in modern times. Words such as "exploit", "influence" and "inappropriate" as well as phrases like "curry favour" and "damaged the integrity" all appear in Fifa's conclusion on England's bid.

They're words that should sound familiar to most of us -- MPs' expenses scandal, the banking crisis, phone hacking and rate-rigging have all recently called into question the ethics of the Establishment.

Compromised integrity

Jack Warner
Former Fifa Vice President Jack WarnerGetty

When Fifa says England sponsored a £35,000 gala at the behest of former Fifa vice president, and potential "bloc-vote" mastermind, Jack Warner, read the political "cash for honours/questions" scandals that rocked Westminster.

When Fifa laid out how England attempted to satisfy at least two "improper requests" by Fifa executives, we are reminded of when former Home Secretary David Blunkett resigned amid allegations he fast-tracked a work visa for his ex-lover's nanny.

The FA "compromised integrity"? So too did The News of the World, "Plebgate" policeman Keith Wallis and Fred "The Shred" Goodwin in their respective professions.

Playing dirty

Reading the Fifa report, it becomes clear that England had no chance of landing football's most lucrative tournament.

The field, it seems, was very much against handing Fifa's most vocal critic the kudos of hosting the World Cup.

But at the same time the finger was being pointed at others, England was allegedly double-dealing itself all the while setting itself up for an embarrassing fall.

You would be hard to place the words "Fifa" and "integrity" in the same sentence, and today's summary has chasms as wide as a football pitch (the disregard for Russian evidence, or lack thereof, is galling).

But it has revealed the British Establishment, in this case the FA, have employed some of the oldest tricks in the book. Again.

The pretext might be football but England's 2018 World Cup bid fell into the same trap as politicians, bankers and bent coppers: it may have portrayed itself as whiter-than-white but it was the dirtiest of the lot.