Blatter: Combined bid process a mistake

Sepp Blatter has admitted FIFA may have made an error by running simultaneous bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

FIFA president Blatter on Friday confirmed the votes to decide who will host both tournaments will take place as scheduled on December 2, despite two executive committee members currently being suspended following allegations of corruption.

England are competing for the right to host the 2018 tournament with Russia and joint bids from Spain/Portugal and Netherlands/Belgium.

Australia, Qatar, Japan, South Korea and the United States are bidding to host the 2022 World Cup.

The Spain/Portugal bid to host the 2018 World Cup have denied claims of alleged collusion with Qatar, who are looking to stage the 2022 competition.

FIFA are currently investigating "rumours" of an agreement between two countries to exchange votes, something explicitly forbidden by the regulations.

Against a troubled background, Blatter reflected: "We have asked ourselves whether it has been wise to have a double bid for the two World Cups.

"I have expressed my concern that the decision to put the World Cups together was a good decision. I take responsibility for that and it was not the right thing to do.

"We are in a situation now where we have to go on."

Blatter announced FIFA’s ethics committee will on November 17 decide the fate of the two executive committee members – Nigerian Amos Adamu and Tahiti’s Reynald Temarii – who have protested their innocence following a Sunday Times investigation which accused them of asking undercover reporters for cash in return for their World Cup votes.

If the pair are suspended for the December 2 vote, they will not be replaced and only 22 members will take part in a secret ballot to decide the host nations for the two tournaments.

Blatter said: "We are five weeks from the final decision so there was never a question of changing anything in the procedure.

"So on December 2, here in Zurich, the executive committee of FIFA will decide in a secret ballot the national associations who are hosts for the World Cup 2018 and 2022."

Blatter also announced FIFA would look into ways of livening up the group stages of the World Cup.

A task group called Football 2014 is to be set up, including stakeholders from around the game.

Blatter said: "In the first round matches of the World Cup no-one wants to lose and (this year) there were five or six draws, 0-0 or 1-1, so let’s see how we can add some attraction to football."