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Page last updated at 08:37 GMT, Tuesday, 4 May 2010 09:37 UK

Japan drops bid to host 2018 World Cup to aim for 2022

Fifa president Sepp Blatter
Blatter told the Japanese authorities to focus on the 2022 tournament

The Japanese Football Association has pulled out of the bidding to host the 2018 World Cup - but remains in the running for the 2022 tournament.

Japan's exit leaves England as one of six bidders looking to host either tournament, with Fifa to name the hosts for both in December.

Australia, Russia, the United States, Belgium/Netherlands and Spain/Portugal are also in the hat for both.

Qatar and 2002 co-hosts South Korea are bidding solely for the 2022 event.

Confirming Japan's decision to focus on trying to win the right to host the 2022 World Cup, JFA president Motoaki Inukai suggested that Fifa is keen for the 2018 tournament to be held in Europe.

"We were told European countries would be in a fierce tussle for 2018 and that aiming for 2022 would the best choice," he said.

606: DEBATE

Indonesia and Mexico had also planned to bid, but Mexico withdrew last September citing a lack of funding, while Indonesia's bid to host the 2022 tournament was rejected in March, with Fifa stating that required documents and guarantees had not been received.

England's bid includes a plan to use 15 stadia in 12 cities, including an expanded Home Park in Plymouth and new Bristol City stadium.

Bidders must submit their final 'bid books' on 14 May ahead of Fifa inspections in August and September.



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see also
Dein takes key World Cup bid role
18 Feb 10 |  Football
FA unrest 'will not hit 2018 bid'
23 Mar 10 |  Football
Indonesia 2022 World Cup bid over
19 Mar 10 |  Football
2018 World Cup bidders make cases
04 Dec 09 |  Internationals


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