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Bin Hammam denies backing Iberian 2018 bid

Allegations of vote bartering have prompted Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Mohammed bin Hammam to deny reports that he has secretly agreed to support a joint bid by Spain and Portugal to host the 2018 World Cup.

Hammam refuted a story in the Spanish newspaper Marca, which quoted Hammam as saying he will back the Iberian bid in exchange for their support of Qatar's attempt to host the 2022 tournament.

"A Spanish newspaper, called Marca , which I have never heard of, completely fabricated an interview with me, pretending that Asia and I will support Spain's bid," said Hammam. "The Asian Executive Committee had taken a decision to support Europe in 2018. However, no decision was taken to back any one country. We agreed to give the four Asian members the freedom to select the country that they deem appropriate.''

England, Russia and Netherlands/Belgium are the other three European bidders for the 2018 tournament.

Read the whole story at ESPN Soccernet »

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