Saturday, May 8, 2010

Blatter impressed by Russia 2018 bid.


FIFA president Sepp Blatter has praised Russia's bid for the 2018 World Cup, labelling it "remarkable".

Sepp Blatter
GettyImagesSepp Blatter has suggested Russia are strong contenders

Blatter visited Russia, one of the countries competing with England to host tournament, in January and was impressed by what he saw.

"I was there recently and what they presented is remarkable," he told the London Evening Standard. "Russia is not a country but a continent and Russia has big plans to expand."

Also hoping to host the tournament - as well as the next edition in 2022 - are Australia and the United States, while there are joint bids from Belgium and Holland as well as Spain and Portugal.

Blatter expects the tournament to be held in Europe - and also believes England has certain advantages over its rivals.

"I think for 2018 it will be a European candidate," Blatter said. "But apart from England you have the bid from Spain and Portugal, the small but very pleasant bid of the Netherlands and Belgium, and the big Russia also wants to come in."

He added: "(England's bid) is the easiest bid in the world. They have the football already organised. They have everything.

"England has no problem in delivering a World Cup. The other bidders must convince the executive committee. England does not have to convince us."

The final decision will be made in December.

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