3 Feb 2009

12 interested in future Fifa World Cup finals

12:38 pm on 3 February 2009

The number of candidates bidding to stage the 2018 or 2022 Fifa World Cup has risen to 12 with Egypt and South Korea making late entries.

World soccer's governing body says Egypt became the first African country to put their name forward in a race that includes five potential bidders from Asia, four from Europe and two from the Americas.

South Korea will be up against Asian rivals Japan, the country they co-hosted the 2002 World Cup with, Indonesia, Qatar and Australia.

England and Russia are among the European contenders along with joint bids from Spain/Portugal and Netherlands/Belgium.

Mexico and 1994 World Cup hosts the United States are the other names on the list which is due to be finalised by FIFA today, the deadline for countries to express their interest.