England submit 2018 bid

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England have officially submitted their bid for the 2018 World Cup to FIFA.

A letter of intent has been delivered to the headquarters of football's world governing body in Zurich.

FIFA have acknowledged England's official confirmation and bid chief executive Andy Anson said: "Our intentions have obviously been well known for some time but there's a real sense of significance and excitement in the fact that we're now acknowledged as an official bidding nation."

He continued: "We believe we have a very strong case to bring the tournament to England and the challenge now is to put together a compelling presentation to showcase to the world."

FIFA have set a deadline of February 2 for countries to declare their interest in bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Bidding nations to not have to declare whether they are bidding for just one or either of the tournaments.

England face competition from joint bids from Spain/Portugal and Holland/Belgium, plus Russia, Australia and Qatar while China, the USA and Japan may also enter the contest.

FIFA announced last month there would be a simultaneous bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, though a country will not be considered for 2022 if their continent is hosting 2018.

A decision will be made on both World Cups in December 2010.

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