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World Cup bids head-to-head

Nine countries, from four continents, are bidding to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Delegations from each of the candidate nations have handed over their bid books to Fifa.

The winning countries will be revealed on 2 December.

Here is our guide to the contenders.


Bidding for: 2018

David Beckham

Bid Leader: Geoff Thompson

Famous Face: David Beckham

Pros: England's bid team believes it can drive up the commercial revenues of the event, aided by the international appeal of the Premier League. The infrastructure is largely in place, with an impressive network of stadiums. England also has historic appeal, with Fifa president Sepp Blatter calling it the "motherland" of football.

Cons: Infighting at the Football Association hampered the early stages of the bid as well as former bid leader Lord Triesman quitting in May after he was secretly recorded making allegations about rival bids.

What they say: "This is something that runs through our country and through our veins" - David Beckham


Bidding for: 2018 & 2022

Alexei Smertin

Bid Leader: First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov

Famous Face: Alexei Smertin

Pros: The fact that Russia has never hosted the event could work in its favour. The bid has full government backing, a vast budget and has been described as "remarkable" by Blatter. The bid's PR man Andreas Herren used to be head of communications at Fifa.

Cons: Security could be a concern, and the massive distances between venues. Russia did not qualify for South Africa 2010, missing out on the chance to showcase their team and lobby Fifa officials.

What they say: "Playing at World Cups was the pinnacle of my career. To help to bring one to Russia would be an even greater personal achievement" - Former USSR goalkeeper Rinat Dasaev


Bidding for: 2018 & 2022

Luis Figo

Bid Leader: Angel Maria Villar and Gilberto Madail, presidents of the Spanish and Portuguese football federations

Famous Face: Luis Figo

Pros: Spain's all-conquering national team and famous stadiums like the Nou Camp, the Bernabeu and the Stadium of Light. Spanish FA president Angel Maria Villar has great contacts among Fifa voters and the bid is likely to be supported by the South American Conmebol bloc.

Cons: Blatter is not generally keen on dual bids, while Portugal hosted the European Championship as recently as 2004.

What they say: "We have the infrastructure, food, hotels, tourism, climate. All this makes us a strong candidate to host the 2018 finals" - Luis Figo


Bidding for: 2018 & 2022

Ruud Gullit

Bid Leaders: François De Keersmaecker and Michael van Praag

Famous Face: Johan Cruyff and Ruud Gullit

Pros: Successfully hosted the European Championship in 2000. Backed by star power in the shape of Gullit and Cruyff. Promoting themselves as the most environmentally friendly bid, the delegation arrived at Fifa headquarters by bicycle.

Cons: Could be muscled out of the running by larger European rivals. Lots of work to do on facilities and global support.

What they say: "We try to give two million bikes to all the fans, so they can go everywhere" - Ruud Gullit


Bidding for: 2022

Spike Lee

Bid Leaders: US Soccer president Sunil Gulati

Famous Face: Spike Lee

Pros: Infrastructure in place from the 1994 World Cup. The bid is supported by President Barack Obama and will offer Fifa big financial rewards. Has backing of Mexico and the Concacaf region.

Cons: Football is growing, but still well down the pecking order of national sports.

What they say: "We're going to do everything we can to ensure victory. We're confident of the bid and we're confident in the process that Fifa will make a great decision" -Sunil Gulati


Bidding for: 2022

Nicole Kidman

Bid Leader: Australian Football Federation chairman Frank Lowy

Famous Face: Nicole Kidman

Pros: A sport-mad nation with a proven history of staging successful sports events. Could have the appeal of spreading the game to new pastures. Star backing in the form of Formula 1 driver Mark Webber, swimmer Ian Thorpe and Hollywood stars Kidman and Hugh Jackman.

Cons: Most of Australia's biggest stadiums are used by other sports, like Aussie rules and rugby league, whose seasons overlap with World Cup.

What they say: "The race to bring the World Cup to Australia is on. Like Formula 1 driving you need belief, passion and Aussie grit to be successful" -Mark Webber


Bidding for: 2022

Hidetoshi Nakata

Bid Leader: Japan Football Association president Motoaki Inukai

Famous Face: Hidetoshi Nakata

Pros: The bid has government backing and plenty of cash. Co-hosted a friendly and trouble-free World Cup in 2002. Strong line in innovation, illustrated by the use of an origami pop-out in their pitch to Fifa.

Cons: The fact that they were co-hosts as recently as 2002. Dropped bid for 2018 after Blatter strongly hinted it would go to a European country.

What they say: "It will be a cut-throat battle and it will require an awful lot of leg-work" -Motoaki Inukai


Bidding for: 2022

Roger Milla

Bid Leader: Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, son of the Emir of Qatar

Famous Face: Bid ambassador Roger Milla

Pros: The potential to take the World Cup to the Middle East for the first time. Limitless funds, with several state-of-the-art stadiums already in progress. Former Premier League spokesman Mike Lee, who helped London and Rio win the Olympics, is working on the bid.

Cons: The stifling heat and the lack of atmosphere at the England-Brazil friendly in November.

What they say: "The World Cup in the Middle East would bring so many positive things to our region including friendships and understandings between competitors and spectators that would extend far beyond the World Cup itself" - Sheikh Mohammed


Bidding for: 2022

Park Ji-Sung

Bid Leader: Han Sung-Joo

Famous Face: Park Ji-Sung

Pros: The country has world-class stadiums and transport links and boasts the most successful national team in Asia, with seven consecutive World Cup appearances.

Cons: Co-hosted the tournament in 2002 and Fifa may be looking to new pastures in Asia.

What they say: "With our world-class infrastructure, enormous passion for football, extensive experience and knowledge gained from organising global sports events, Korea is prepared to stage a massively successful football tournament in 2022" - Han Sung-Joo

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see also
The World Cup in their hands
02 Dec 10 |  Football
Beckham hands over 2018 Cup bid
14 May 10 |  Football
Beckham's World Cup bid letter
13 May 10 |  Football
Beckham to present 2018 bid book
09 May 10 |  Football
Japan abandons 2018 World Cup bid
04 May 10 |  Football
Beckham pledges 2018 bid effort
03 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010
England vaunts 2018 World Cup bid
01 Dec 09 |  Business
Reaction to 2018 bid cities announcement
16 Dec 09 |  Internationals
Milton Keynes picked for 2018 bid
16 Dec 09 |  Internationals
Warner supports England 2018 bid
28 Nov 09 |  World Cup 2010
Infighting harms 2018 bid - Brady
25 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Richards resigns from 2018 board
24 Nov 09 |  Internationals
2018 bid gives handbags as gifts
23 Oct 09 |  Football
Fifa man hands back England gift
04 Nov 09 |  Football
England 'must improve 2018 bid'
07 Oct 09 |  Football
Rivals unite for World Cup bid
23 Jul 09 |  Merseyside
2018 bid chief calls for humility
18 May 09 |  Football
Qatar bids to host 2022 World Cup
17 Mar 09 |  Middle East

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