Page last updated at 19:15 GMT, Tuesday, 30 June 2009 20:15 UK

2012 stadium 'for World Cup bid'

Boris Johnson at the London bid launch
Boris Johnson launched London's bid with young football fans

London's Olympic Stadium may not be downsized after the tournament because of England's 2018 World Cup bid, the city's mayor Boris Johnson has said.

The stadium was designed to be reduced from an 80,000-seat venue to a 25,000 capacity when the Olympics finish.

But Mr Johnson now hopes the stadium could be one of the 16 venues to be used in England's World Cup plan.

"I'd be very foolish to rule it out", Mr Johnson told the Associated Press news agency on Tuesday.

"Anyone with common sense looking at this wonderful venue we are constructing in Stratford will say, 'why not?'"

The Olympic Park is well worth considering as an additional venue
Boris Johnson

The stadium could also be used if England's bid to host the 2015 Rugby World Cup is successful.

Mr Johnson, making the comments as he launched London's campaign to be part of the 2018 World Cup bid, added: "We are already a leading contender to have the 2018 World Cup.

"I think the stadium in the Olympic Park is well worth considering as an additional venue."

Arsenal's Emirates Stadium, Chelsea's Stamford Bridge and Tottenham's White Hart Lane could also be used, while Wembley would host high profile matches including the final.

While it would be almost unthinkable for London not to be one of the host cities if England is successful in getting the 2018 tournament, Mr Johnson called on Londoners to support the plans for the city to host matches.

Good track record

"London is a football mad city, from the top-flight professional club and international matches attracting fans in their tens of thousands each week to the friendly kick about in local parks and open spaces," he said.

"We've a track record for hosting international sporting events on a regular basis and the many parks and green spaces would be perfect for watching World Cup matches."

More than a dozen English cities including will make up England's bid, with other cities with rich footballing traditions and impressive stadiums such as Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle almost certain to be among them.

A decision will then be made by football's international governing body Fifa in December 2010 as to which country will host the event.

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