Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and former England captain David Beckham have been overlooked in the New Year's Honours list.
The duo, who both have OBEs, had been tipped to be knighted.
Former Football Association chairman David Bernstein has been made a CBE.
Bernstein was appointed to the role of chairman in 2010 but was forced to relinquish the post under FA rules when he reached the age of 70. He was replaced by Greg Dyke in July.
"I think this honour relates to all my 20 years in football and I am really delighted," said Bernstein.
"I had 10 years at Manchester City and it was a fantastic period to be involved at a key moment in its history, getting the club back on its feet and organising the deal for the new stadium.
"It was then enormously satisfying to be involved with Wembley through its construction phase to see it become the greatest stadium in the world."
There was speculation that Murray, who was voted Sports Personality of the Year 2013, would be honoured following his triumph in the summer, a year after he was awarded an OBE, having won Olympic gold and the US Open title.
Following his victory at Wimbledon, Prime Minister David Cameron said: "I can't think of anyone who deserves one more."
People are nominated for their achievements by members of the public and whether they are given an honour - and the type of honour - is decided by a committee.
The committee's decision goes to the prime minister and then to the Queen.
Meanwhile, rumours that Beckham, who was made OBE in 2003 for services to football and played a key role in securing the London 2012 Olympics, was to be knighted, proved unfounded.
Ann Jones, who beat Billie Jean King to win the 1969 Wimbledon singles' title, is appointed a CBE after years of work in tennis administration.
West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady has been made CBE for services to entrepreneurship and women in business while London Marathon race director Dave Bedford, a former 10,000m world record holder was made an OBE.
Geoff Miller, who retired as England cricket's national selector after a seven year period which saw three Ashes victories and the national side's rise to world number one, becomes an OBE.
England's most capped women's footballer Rachel Yankey has become an OBE while Katy McLean, captain of the England women's rugby union team, is appointed MBE.
Rugby league referee Stuart Cummings, who retired as RFL match officials director earlier this year, is appointed MBE.