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FIFA announces bidding process
by Paul Kennedy, January 16th, 2009 7AM
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[WORLD CUP 2018/2022] FIFA has announced the timetable for the bid process to determine the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, beginning with the deadline of Feb. 2 for a national association to express its intent to bid. It has been expected U.S. Soccer would wait until after Tuesday's inauguration of Barack Obama to announce its intention to host.

The 2018/2022 bid process is unique in that two World Cup hosts will be selected at the same time. Their selection by FIFA's executive committee with take place in December 2010.

FIFA set out the minimum requirements to host: about 12 stadiums holding at least 40,000 fans for group matches, with one stadium of at least a capacity of 80,000 to stage the opening match and the final.

The requirements and timetable were sent to all eligible national associations. The 2018 World Cup cannot take place in Africa or South America and the 2022 World Cup cannot take place in South America.

Since the World Cup cannot take place in the same confederation two times in a row, it is expected that one of the two World Cups would go to a European nation and therefore the other would have to go to a non-European nation.

European countries bidding include England, Russia, Belgium-Netherlands-Luxembourg and Spain-Portugal. Potential U.S. competition from non-European countries are Australia and Qatar.

Other bids could come from the China, Japan, Mexico and Canada.


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