England to focus on ’18 WCup bid if US withdraws
England will withdraw from the race to host the 2022 World Cup
and concentrate on its 2018 bid if the United States ends its
interest in the earlier tournament.
David Dein, the international president of England’s bid, said
Tuesday he expects that announcement soon.
FIFA hasn’t officially declared that 2018 should go to Europe
and leave the rest of the field to contest 2022. England and
Russia, Spain-Portugal and Belgium-Netherlands are still vying for
both events as a formality.
The United States is the sole non-European country still bidding
for both events. Australia, Japan, Qatar and South Korea are
focused on 2022. The Americans have said they will withdraw from
2018 bidding only if asked by FIFA or UEFA president Michel
”We believe, Michel Platini believes, that 2018 should be
coming to Europe and we believe that is our strongest case,” Dein
said during a briefing Tuesday. ”We are sure it won’t be long
before America will withdraw from 2018, leaving themselves a run on
”Consequently, we will almost certainly – it hasn’t come about
yet – withdraw from 2022, leaving us with a European battle.”
Dein, the former vice chairman of Arsenal, has been spearheading
England’s global courting of the 24 FIFA executive committee
voters. He was joined by England midfielder David Beckham in
Trinidad over the weekend to visit CONCACAF president Jack Warner
and FIFA President Sepp Blatter.
”We have been in six countries in the last 13 days, and we
desperately want to win the right to stage the World Cup,” Dein
He will embark on another round of trips to visit the voters
again before the FIFA vote in December. England is vying to host
the World Cup for the first time since 1966.