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Page last updated at 12:33 GMT, Friday, 24 October 2008 13:33 UK

Fifa World Cup bid plan delayed

Sepp Blatter and Gordon Brown
Blatter and prime minister Gordon Brown have discussed England's bid

Fifa has failed to reach an agreement on the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

On Friday, Fifa had been expected to announce the deadline for when bids had to be in by and reveal if bidding for the events would happen simultaneously.

But a decision is now likely to be made during Fifa's next meeting in December.

"The committee gave a positive reaction to the general principle that we open the bidding for the two tournaments together," said president Sepp Blatter.

"But the committee members asked if we could look not only at the proposed advantages but also some of the inconveniences that might arise, and three or four asked to postpone the issue until our next meeting in seven weeks' time."

Executive committee member Franz Beckenbauer added: "I think it is a sensible decision and one which the Fifa president agreed with.

David O, BBC Sport
"Many of the associations had only heard about this idea to award both tournaments simultaneously through the media, so delaying the decision gives us all more time to discuss the proposal and hear people's thoughts on it."

Belgium and the Netherlands have formally declared a joint bid for 2018 and England's Football Association has confirmed it will bid for the event, while further competition is expected to come from the United States, Mexico, Spain, China and Australia.

Blatter is in favour of a joint bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, even though such a move would be complicated by his organisation's policy on rotating the World Cup around the world.

The concept of strict continental rotation was thrown out in October 2007, but Fifa still insists that a World Cup cannot be held on a continent that has hosted one of the two preceding World Cups.

For 2018 the situation should be simple, with Africa and South America unable to bid for the event due to South Africa's hosting of the 2010 World Cup and Brazil's staging of the 2014 version.

Any bidders for the 2022 event would, however, face the risk of being automatically ruled out in the event that Fifa awards the 2018 tournament to a country on the same continent.

see also
England to bid for 2018 World Cup
31 Oct 07 |  Internationals
World Cup bid Q&A
31 Oct 07 |  Football
Brazil will stage 2014 World Cup
30 Oct 07 |  Internationals
England rivals plan 2018 Cup bids
30 Oct 07 |  Football
Fifa abandons World Cup rotation
29 Oct 07 |  Football
Fifa welcomes England 2018 bid
25 Oct 07 |  Football
Blatter gives England 2018 boost
12 Oct 07 |  Football
England get 2018 World Cup boost
25 Sep 07 |  Internationals

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