Cities submit bidding proposals

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Football News

Fifteen cities will submit their applications to become host venues for England's 2018 World Cup bid on Thursday.

The cities, which contain 21 stadiums, will be narrowed down to 10 cities and 12 to 18 stadiums on December 16 to form part of England's candidate file to be submitted to FIFA in May.

FIFA's vote on the World Cup hosts takes place in early December 2010.

The bids from Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield are expected to be for two stadia in the city, and London's for four including the 2012 Olympic Stadium.

It is expected to be named along with Wembley, Arsenal's Emirates Stadium and Tottenham's new White Hart Lane - but only subject to its final capacity meeting FIFA's requirements of a minimum of 40,000 seats.

Portsmouth pulled out of the running on Wednesday - the city council refused to provide the necessary financial guarantees to Fratton Park fearing it was too much of a risk.

The club had put forward a plan to redevelop the ground to a 37,000-seat stadium, with additional temporary seats to bring capacity up to more than 40,000.

An England 2018 spokesman expressed sadness and surprise at the decision but said bid leaders were confident of a strong array of potential host cities. The spokesman said: "Naturally, we are disappointed at Portsmouth's withdrawal from the process. Along with the other cities involved, Portsmouth had shown great enthusiasm for the project and the council's decision not to approve their application at this stage is a surprising and sad outcome.

"The host city process still has an extremely strong candidate list and we are confident we have an array of cities, stadiums and general facilities that will support an exceptional bid to FIFA next May."

The hopeful cities expected to submit their applications are Birmingham, Bristol, Derby, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Newcastle-Gateshead, Nottingham, Plymouth, Sheffield and Sunderland.

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Tottenham Hotspur
Leicester City
Milton Keynes Dons
Sheffield Wednesday
Bristol City
Premier League
Derby County
Nottingham Forest
Hull City
Leeds United
Plymouth Argyle

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