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Last Updated: Monday, 26 November 2007, 15:39 GMT
Fifa could shorten 2018 bid list
By Bill Wilson
BBC News, Johannesburg

Wembley
Wembley is the likely venue for the final should the bid be successful
England's bid for the 2018 World Cup may have to pass an initial elimination vote because so many countries are interested in hosting the event.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter said a short-list of candidate nations could be named before the host country is unveiled in 2011.

England are desperate to host the competition they last staged in 1966.

But they already face competition from the USA, Canada, Mexico, Russia, China, Belgium/Holland and Spain.

Blatter said Fifa could now follow the Olympics by whittling the list down from up to nine possible bid countries before choosing the winner.

He added it would also allow Fifa to weed out candidates without the proper credentials.

606: DEBATE
Scott

The International Olympic Committee was faced with the same problem more than a decade ago and decided to reduce the number of bid cities to cut costs of all involved.

Blatter said: "If there will be as many candidates as it appears there might be, then we will have to do what the IOC does and have a preliminary elimination.

"We would follow the IOC's method, and cut down the list of those who had given preliminary indications of interest into a shorter list of those who had given us the right guarantees."

The British government is fully backing the FA's decision to bid for the tournament, and former sports minister Richard Caborn has been given the role of World Cup 2018 ambassador.

Fifa has ended its policy of rotating the tournament between confederation areas but has excluded Africa, which hosts the 2010 event, and South America, which hosts 2014, from bidding for 2018.

The winning bidder for 2018 will be announced before Fifa's Congress of 2011.

SEE ALSO
England to bid for 2018 World Cup
31 Oct 07 |  Internationals
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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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