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Blatter says no more joint Cup bids

FIFA President Sepp Blatter has said that single bids are likely to get preference over joint ones when the hosts for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups are decided.

Speaking in Spanish at a meeting of the South American Football Confederation (CSF) in Asuncion, Paraguay, Blatter said that if three or four suitable single bids were put forward, the joint ones would be rejected.

"In FIFA, there are decisions which have been taken by the executive committee in view of the organization of the World Cup," he said.

"These decisions are the following: as soon as there is a candidacy or three or four relevant candidacies that only one country can organize it, we are directly going to reject the double candidacies.

"We have done this at the moment of the decision taken in May 2004 for the 2010 Cup at the moment that Tunisia and Libya put forward a double candidacy."

Spain and Portugal have formally put forward a joint bid to host one of the two events and the Dutch and Belgian football associations, which co-hosted the 2000 European championship, have also submitted a joint bid.

England, Japan, Qatar, Russia, Mexico and Indonesia have formally declared their interest and the US has said it will also join the race.

Submit papers

The 2010 World Cup will be held in South Africa and the 2014 tournament will take place in Brazil. Tomorrow is the deadline to submit papers expressing an intent to bid.

Japan and South Korea co-hosted the 2002 tournament but it was criticized as unwieldy and costly.

"We have a long way to go, and we will hear all kinds of things," Belgian bid leader Alain Courtois said on Friday. "But the moment that counts is when we have the vote, not any time earlier. There have been so many statements from Blatter and there will be many more. We have to stay calm and keep pushing our joint bid."

In favor of the bids by Netherlands-Belgium and Spain-Portugal, was that they were neighbors not separated by an ocean, and all used euro currency, eliminating much bureaucratic red tape.

Blatter said FIFA and its confederations were likely to weather the economic crisis, but acknowledged he was worried for the hundreds of clubs around the world.


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