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Last Updated: Friday, 2 September 2005, 13:16 GMT 14:16 UK
Blatter welcomes England cup bid
Fifa president Sepp Blatter
Fifa president Sepp Blatter wants the Football Association to launch a bid to host the 2018 World Cup in England.

Blatter said he would welcome a bid from "the homeland of football" and claimed they could take advantage of facilities used in the 2012 Olympics.

He said: "I would say yes, they should bid - it is the homeland of football.

"They are building stadia and other facilities for the Olympics, Wembley is almost finished and maybe they would be used for a World Cup bid."

South Africa are hosting the 2010 tournament and under Fifa's rotation policy the 2014 World Cup will be in South America, almost certainly Brazil.

The tournament should return to Europe in 2018 so formal bids will have to be launched in 2010, two years before the London Olympics.

Blatter is also an International Olympic Committee member and he is thought to have voted for London.

Although he would not disclose his choice, he admitted he was happy with the outcome of the vote in Singapore in July.

He added: "I voted for football and from a football point of view I'm very happy about the decision taken.

"Sir Bobby Charlton, Sven-Goran Eriksson and David Beckham were in Singapore as London 2012 ambassadors and this was a very positive reflection for us."

Four years ago, relations between Blatter and the FA were strained - then chief executive Adam Crozier was one of his fiercest critics in the heated presidential campaign - but harmony has now been restored.

Blatter met current FA chief executive Brian Barwick in London on Thursday, as well as Premier League chairman Dave Richards and sports minister Richard Caborn.

Barwick said recently there was no reason why England should not bid for the 2018 World Cup and Blatter confirmed he was back on good terms with the FA.

He admitted: "We need the FA, it's a very powerful and respected association, the oldest in the world - it has a certain aura."

Caborn said a bid would be given serious consideration.

He said: "We are not ruling anything in or anything out. The time when we have to make a decision is still a long way off.

"We will give it serious consideration and any decision will have to be made in consultation with the FA. At the moment however, we are concentrating on 2012."


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