Double World Cup bonanza

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England, Spain, Netherlands/Belgium, Australia, China, Mexico, Russia, Uruguay, the US and Argentina are all interested in bidding for the 2018 FIFA World Cup but may be able to bid for the 2022 event at the same time.

Football's world governing body FIFA has said it will announce the host nation for the 2018 World Cup in December 2010. According to Reuters, the federation is also considering selecting the host for the 2022 FIFA World Cup at the same time to allow more time for major infrastructure work. FIFA general secretary, Jerome Valcke, said that South Africa's rush to complete the construction work needed to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup was proof more time was needed by future hosts. " We have already had a discussion within FIFA around the possibility of designating both the 2018 and 2022 hosts at the same time. We will start the 2018 bidding process early next year [2009] and expect to make a decision by December 2010, " he told the news service. " We feel seven years is the minimum time you need for a country to build all the infrastructure they need to host a World Cup. " South Africa was picked as host of the 2010 event in May 2004, giving the country just over six years to prepare. The country is building six new stadia and renovating four, rebuilding airports and investing massively in upgrading its road and rail networks with many of the projects expected to be finished just one month before the final. Countries interested in hosting the 2018 event already include England, Spain, Netherlands/Belgium, Australia, China, Mexico, Russia, Uruguay, the US and Argentina. FIFA's concept of strict continental rotation was thrown out in October 2007, but the governing body still insists that a World Cup cannot be held on a continent that has hosted one of the two preceding World Cups. For 2018, the situation should be simple, with Africa and South America unable to bid for the event due to South Africa's hosting of the 2010 World Cup and Brazil's staging of the 2014 version. Any bidders for the 2022 event would, however, face the risk of being automatically ruled out in the event that FIFA awards the 2018 tournament to a country on the same continent.

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