Fifa confirm World Cup bids

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The Independent Online

All 13 countries which had expressed an interest have submitted their initial bids to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cups, Fifa said today.

Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Russia and the United States have bid for both tournaments, along with two joint proposals from Belgium and the Netherlands and Spain and Portugal. Qatar and South Korea have sent in bid registration forms for the 2022 World Cup only, a Fifa statement said.

The deadline for submissions passed on Monday.

"We are very pleased about the fantastic level of interest in our flagship competition, with all initial bidders confirming their candidature. The diversity and quality of the contenders will make this a very interesting selection process," Fifa president Sepp Blatter said.

Full bids will be submitted to Fifa in due course with a decision on the hosts for both tournaments being made in December next year.

With Brazil hosting the 2014 finals, Fifa had already said that South American nations could not bid for 2018 and 2022. Countries from the same continental confederation will not be able to host both the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.

Blatter has also said he prefers single bidders rather than co-hosts.

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