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Last Updated: Friday, 12 October 2007, 05:38 GMT 06:38 UK
Blatter gives England 2018 boost
Football Focus
Sepp Blatter has paved the way for England to bid for the 2018 World Cup by confirming he wants to ditch Fifa's controversial selection policy.

Under current Fifa guidelines, the tournament is scheduled to rotate between each of the world's major footballing continents.

But Blatter, president of the world governing body, told BBC One's Football Focus the system is less than perfect.

"I am advocating we open the market," said the 71-year-old Swiss.

Only one South American nation - Brazil - has submitted a formal bid to stage the 2014 World Cup.

Argentina and Colombia were initially in the running but pulled out, leaving Fifa with just one candidate to choose from.

It is better to have three or four associations trying to get the number one competition of the world

Sepp Blatter
As reported by BBC sports editor Mihir Bose last month, the situation was deemed less than ideal and has prompted a change of policy.

And Blatter admits he wants to avoid a repeat scenario for 2018.

"We are not in a very comfortable situation in South America," he added. "We only have one bidder.

"It is better to have three or four associations trying to get the number one competition of the world."

Germany staged the World Cup on Europe's behalf in 2006 while South Africa will entertain the world's top footballing countries in 2010.

Brazil have not been formally awarded the 2014 tournament yet, but are expected to get the green light from Fifa subject to the country's stadiums being deemed appropriate.

Although nothing was set in stone, Oceania or Concacaf (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) would have been the next in line.

But Blatter feels that Europe should be free to challenge, opening the way for England to bid again after their failed attempt in 2006.

  • David Davies hosts a special 5live Sport programme on England's potential 2018 World Cup bid on Thursday, 18 October (2030 BST).

    England get 2018 World Cup boost
    25 Sep 07 |  Internationals
    Blatter to step up Euro quota bid
    05 Oct 07 |  Football Focus
    Brazil wants 2014 World Cup
    31 Jul 07 |  Football


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