In a move which some in the footballing world have called "petty", the English Football Association has decided to retract its earlier bid to stage the 2018 World Cup finals on the grounds that the decision has been fixed in favour of 'any other country on Earth'.
The decision came this morning after an emergency meeting at Lancaster Gate attended by David Beckham, Alan Shearer, future manager Harry Redknapp, the ghost of Bobby Robson and other token nobodies.
Beckham, unshaven and wearing a sari, delivered a short statement which read:
"De fing is...erm..."
The staging of the 2018 World Cup was eventually awarded to Russia, but the FA firmly believe that if Afghanistan or North Korea had bid for it, either of those two nations won have come out on top in the selection process.
An FA spokesman told us:
"It's fixed, and we are withdrawing our offer to stage these finals. We're going to focus all our efforts on the 2022 World Cup finals instead."