2018 World Cup set for Europe according to reports

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The Independent Football

Japan are set to concentrate solely on bidding for the 2022 World Cup after being told the 2018 edition will be held in Europe, according to reports.

Sports minister Tatsuo Kawabata and Japan Football Association chief Motoaki Inukai spoke with FIFA president Sepp Blatter in Zurich yesterday and were advised to focus their efforts on bidding for the right to host the 2022 World Cup.

"President Blatter told us that European countries would be battling it out for 2018 and that it would be a wiser choice to go for 2022," Kawabata was quoted as saying by Kyodo News.

A formal announcement on Japan's decision is set to be announced following a bidding committee meeting on May 11 while FIFA will name the host countries for both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in December.

Japan join Qatar and South Korea in the bidding for only the 2022 edition while England are currently bidding for both along with Russia, the USA and Australia while Spain/Portugal and Netherlands/Belgium are making joint bids.