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England receives 2018 bid boost

World Cup trophy
Fifa is accepting bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments

England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup has been given a boost after Fifa president Sepp Blatter said joint applications were likely to fail.

England have been confirmed as one of six bidders so far, including a joint application from Spain and Portugal.

Netherlands and Belgium are also set to table a bid to co-host the event before the 2 February deadline.

Blatter said Fifa would rejected joint bids if there was a satisfactory application from a single country.

Fifa said the other countries that have formally registered their interest in hosting the tournament were Russia, Mexico, Japan, Qatar and Indonesia.

Australia and the United States could all also come forward with bids before the deadline.

Fifa introduced a ban on more than one country hosting a World Cup finals after the experience in Japan and Korea in 2002, which presented logistical problems.

Blatter said: "As long as we have single-country bids which provide all the necessary guarantees we will reject co-hosting bids."

Countries applying will be considered for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Applicants do not have to declare whether they are bidding for just one or either of the tournaments.

US Fifa executive committee member Chuck Blazer, who will be on the 24-man group deciding the hosts for the tournaments, said: "For the 2010 bid, the executive committee at that time decided we would not accept joint bids after the experience of 2002, which manifested itself as a much more difficult logistical situation with two countries.

"As things stand in regard to bidding, if there are an adequate number of single bids we do not accept joint bids.

"If we are going to do anything different it will have to be addressed at our next meeting in March."

Fifa have said that a country will not be considered for 2022 if their continent is hosting 2018.

Any successful host will need to have at least 12 stadiums with minimum capacities of 40,000, and the final must be held in a stadium with a capacity of at least 80,000.

Countries and joint applicants are also barred from bidding to stage the event if they are located in a continent that has hosted one of the two previous tournaments.

A decision will be made on both World Cups in December 2010.

England bid chief executive Andy Anson said: "We believe we have a very strong case to bring the tournament to England."

In 2007 Fifa ended its policy of rotating the World Cup from continent to continent.

With South Africa hosting the 2010 competition, African nations will not be able to bid for the 2018 World Cup.

And South American countries will not be considered for either 2018 or 2022 as Brazil is hosting the 2014 World Cup.

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see also
FA appoints 2018 bid team members
06 Jan 09 |  Internationals
Tennis chief handed 2018 bid role
20 Nov 08 |  Internationals
Kenyon calls for 2018 bid unity
11 Nov 08 |  Football
FA chief targets top-flight cash
05 Nov 08 |  Premier League
Beckham and Barnes join 2018 bid
19 Oct 08 |  Internationals
Gill & Mawhinney join 2018 board
12 Oct 08 |  Internationals
FA to spend 15m on World Cup bid
24 Apr 08 |  Football
England gets Beckenbauer backing
29 Jul 07 |  Football
Blatter knocks England 2018 hopes
28 Feb 07 |  Internationals

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