Rapid Response:
Rapid response assemblies are provided on the site when there is an event in the news, good or bad, that touches children's lives, so we can offer you a way to acknowledge it in your collective worship.


By the Revd Alan M. Barker


Suitable for Key Stage 2



To reflect upon the rejection of England’s bid to host the World Cup in 2018.

Preparation and resources
  • Display the comments of Sepp Blatter and David Beckham.
  • Display the words of the psalm (in ‘Time for reflection’ below).


  1. Refer to the news that England’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup has been unsuccessful.

    – England was competing with three other regions – the Netherlands/Belgium, Russia and Spain/Portugal – to host the tournament.
    – Representatives presented their plans to the executive committee of FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), football’s global governing body.
    – Prime Minister David Cameron, Prince William and David Beckham led England’s delegation to Switzerland. (Explain that a delegation is a group of people who speak on behalf of others).
    – It was widely believed that England could have provided the best venues and arrangements for the tournament.  However, the committee of 21 people chose Russia. In fact, England was the first to be eliminated in the voting process.
  2. Invite the school community to imagine how the English delegation will feel.

    – They will naturally be very disappointed and ‘gutted’.
    – Perhaps they will feel that their efforts have been a waste of time.
    – Some will struggle to understand the reason for the decision.
    – Others may ask whether the bidding process has been fair.

  3. Reflect that such feelings are quite natural. At some point, everyone will experience such disappointment. Invite the school community to recall how they have felt when not chosen, e.g. to help . . ., to be part of a team . . . or to do a job.
  4. The importance of competition was recognized when, before announcing the World Cup decision, Sepp Blatter (FIFA President) gave a short speech in which he said:

    ‘Football is not only for winning – football is also a school of life in which you learn to lose. And that’s not easy.’

  5. Invite the school community to discuss what ‘learning to lose’ might mean. The following points could be made:

    – Life brings its disappointments.
    – Positive attitudes are important.
    – We can be proud if we have done our best.
    – We can also learn from our mistakes.
    – Learning to lose is learning not to give up.
    – Good sportsmanship is shown in generous attitudes towards others. 
  6. FIFA also announced that the 2022 World Cup will be held in Qatar. Afterwards, David Beckham expressed his disappointment. However, he also commented: ‘Our bid team have done everything possible. We couldn't have got a better bid together . . . We wish Qatar and Russia the very best. They're two great countries and I'm sure they'll make FIFA very proud.’


Time for reflection

In Christian tradition, the psalms reflect the highs and lows of life.  Encouragement is found in the words:

‘Be strong, and let your heart take courage.’ Psalm 27.14

Invite the school community to consider the significance of these words for themselves as individuals and as a community.



‘Just the same’ (Out of the Ark – Songs for Everyday)

‘Give us hope, Lord’ (Come and Praise, 87)





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