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Qatar throws hat in the ring
by Paul Kennedy, January 27th, 2009 7AM



[WORLD CUP 2018/2022] Qatar, which will host the 2011 Asian Cup, is the latest country to enter the race to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cup.

Qatari Mohamed bin Hamman is president of the Asian Football Confederation and a FIFA Executive Committee member.

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.

European countries bidding include England, Russia and Belgium-Netherlands-Luxembourg and Spain-Portugal. Australia has also announce its plans to bid.

Potential U.S. competition from non-European countries includes China, Japan, Mexico and Canada.


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