5 Sep 2009

England warn battle for 2018 football World Cup will be tight

6:04 am on 5 September 2009

The race to stage the 2018 World Cup finals is going to be the most competitive ever, Andy Anson, chief executive of England's bid, said on Friday.

Playing down any idea that England were favourites to win the right to host the event, he said with 11 nations competing for the votes of just 24 FIFA Executive Commitee members, it was impossible to say who was likely to win.

As well as England, there are bids from Spain, Russia, Australia, the United States, Netherlands-Belgium, Qatar, Indonesia, Mexico, Japan and South Korea for either 2018 or 2022.

FIFA will announce the hosts for the two tournaments in Zurich in December next year and Anson told a news briefing in London that while England represented a safe pair of hands other countries also had selling points.