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It marks the fifth time the North African country has failed to secure the right to host the worldwide football tournament.

The World Cup has received special attention this year in the kingdom as its team will play for the first time since 2006.

The opening game of the World Cup attracts a global audience of up to one billion people, so it is a real shame that Russian Federation 2018 starts with a game that is unlikely to provide a fitting prelude for what is to come.

This was the first World Cup vote since 2010, when United States and Switzerland investigators unveiled corruption on an unprecedented scale afterwards.

"On behalf of our United bid ... thank you so very much for this incredible honor", Carlos Cordeiro, the president of the U.S. Soccer Federation, noted after the announcement.

In turn, Infantino gave Putin a "big, big thank you from the bottom of our hearts" for Russia's "engagement" with the World Cup. Football today is the only victor. "Congratulations - a great deal of hard work!" The North American bid earned a total of 134 votes, while Morocco garnered 65.

Putin was the surprise guest of honour at FIFA's annual gathering on the eve of the World Cup, and was welcomed on stage by Gianni Infantino, the governing body's president.

England, like Morocco, knows the feeling of falling short in the bid to host the World Cup.

While Canada has never hosted-or even qualified for-the men's World Cup, it can count on its more experienced co-hosts and current NAFTA partners.

The FA was among the first to congratulate the US' joint bid with Mexico and Canada. The US, however, hosted the World Cup on its own merit in 1994, while Mexico have twice before organised the tournament, in 1970 and in 1986.

Just to add to the complexity, there was a third option for all voters: neither Morocco or United and we would have had to start a new bidding process.