London: Russia World Cup bid chief executive Alexey Sorokin was so confident that he boldly told the England team in Zurich 24 hours in advance that his country had enough votes to win.
The World Cup bidding process was branded a fix last night, as it emerged that the claim made by former diplomat Sorokin proved to be spot on.
A source close to the bidding process said: "Sorokin clearly knew Russia had enough votes and he told the English that."
England went out in round one with two votes while Russia eased home in round two with 13 votes, The Sun reports.
Sorokin`s boast came on the back of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin proclaiming he would not attend the event because of "unscrupulous competition".
That was apparently a reference to English media investigations into FIFA`s executive committee.
FIFA vice-president Jack Warner, who had been so persistently courted by the FA, deserted us.
The three votes from his CONCACAF federation went elsewhere - and there was a strong feeling the BBC Panorama programme, which accused him of ticket touting, was responsible.
But it was still felt Warner had led the bid team to believe they could count on him.