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CAIRO – The number of potential bidders expressing interest in hosting the 2018 and 2022 World Cups has grown to the point where it is hard to establish precisely how many bids there are.
According to a statement from FIFA, Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Qatar, Russia, the U.S. and Egypt, as well as joint bids by Spain and Portugal, and the Netherlands and Belgium were on the final list of bidders.
Football fans in Egypt were disappointed when the Egyptian Football Federation denied it had put in a bid to host the World Cup final in 2022. The Federation also did not clarify whether or not it had put in a bid to stage the 2018 World Cup.
On Feb. 3, Egyptian Football Federation President Samir Zaher claimed that “there is no truth in the news that we have put in a bid.” Neither the Egyptian Football Federation nor FIFA have offered any clarification but Egyptian football fans are disappointed and upset. Some Egyptian football fans believe that Egypt narrowly lost the chance to host the 2010 World Cup final to South Africa in the final round of voting.
South Africa is the first African country to host the World Cup. This means African countries will not hold the event until the 2022 finals, which has caused a great deal of confusion, and rumours have spread about a possible Egyptian bid for the 2018 World Cup. The Egyptian Football Federation has still not informed FIFA whether its bid to host the 2018 World Cup still stands.
Countries hoping to host the World Cup must provide evidence that they have 11 stadiums each capable of seating 40,000 fans and at least one stadium with an 80,000-seat capacity to host the opening and closing ceremonies.
[BBC, Bloomberg.com, Boston Herald]