Alas, despite the best efforts of Wills, Becks and Cams, as you probably know by now, the World Cup is not coming to these shores anytime soon.
As if being two of the world's three biggest owners of natural gas reserves isn't enough, (Iran is number two on that list - I reckon they should bid for the next competition) Russia and Qatar are now the lucky so-and-sos who get to host Big Sepp's quadrennial FIFA Football Family FunFest. As I believe it is soon to be renamed.
I was intrigued by the varying coverage of the build-up to the announcement from different news outlets. (Mad props to The Gulf blog for bringing this to my attention).
Following a FIFA report on the respective bids, Bloomberg went with 'Qatar is a high-risk candidate', while the BBC opted for 'Qatar receives a high-risk rating'. PA sport reckoned the report was 'highly damaging' to the Emirate, which was apparently singled out as a 'high operational risk', according to both PA and ESPN.
But the optimistic chaps at the Qatar Tribune have never been ones to follow the news herd and can always be counted on to come up with a fresh angle on a tired old story.
'FIFA places Qatar in low-risk category for 2022 World Cup,' said their headline.
Smashing stuff - it's good to see press freedom in full effect.
Clearly, FIFA, much like Harry Redknapp, has shown its faith in the tried and tested 'big man/little man' combo. The mind-bogglingly vast distances that may need to be covered by teams, officials and fans in Russia and the hugeness of the building programme required are clearly niggles that can be ironed out in due course. As, presumably, are the football fraternity's concerns over racism and fan violence.
But, if trekking across such an enormous land is a bit of a chore for England's loyal following, at least the tournament four years later will be much easier to navigate. In fact, all of the stadiums are within a 20-mile radius.
Though getting a hotel room might present more of a problem. As might getting hold of a cold lager (in a country where summer temperatures often exceed 50 degrees centigrade; I fear the England team will have to implement a 'no gingers' policy.)
Anyway - never mind. At least I've got an excuse for a couple of exotic holidays. And I can't wait to see Her Indoors' face when I tell her our annual sojourn to Magaluf will be replaced by trips to Doha and Nizhny Novgorod.
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