The International Cricket Council today turned down England's plea to relocate their World Cup match against Zimbabwe, ending weeks of uncertainty over the fate of the match.
The World Cup technical committee, which met here to take the vital decision, ruled against shifting the match out Zimbabwe and said the points from Thursday's cancelled game in Harare will be awarded to the hosts.
England's players, backed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), refused to travel to Zimbabwe because of security concerns.
But the technical committee ruled against them after considering a legal submission from the England and Wales Cricket Board.
The decision means that England will not only forfeit four points but could face huge compensation claims.
The ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said: "It's a decision that gives the committee no pleasure".
The ECB had hoped that the death-threat letter they received from an organisation called Sons and Daughters of Zimbabwe, would act as the key evidence to support their case.
But ICC decided that the "concerns raised about new evidence were not justified." England's appeal for the match to be relocated was earlier turned down twice by the ICC.
The Zimbabwe Cricket Union had said they would not play the game if it was moved out of their country.
All the teams in Pool 'A' have been scheduled to play one World Cup league match in Zimbabwe. India, Pakistan, Namibia and Holland will play their matches in Zimbabwe while Australia relented after initial concerns.