Fifa president Sepp Blatter has revealed that the 2018 World Cup is likely to go to Europe.
Blatter and the Fifa executive committee will vote in December on the hosts for the 2018 and 2022 finals.
A number of European countries have bid to host the finals, with England, the favourites going up against Russia and joint-bids from Belgium & Holland and Spain & Portugal.
Australia and USA are also in the running, but they now seem more than likely to battle it out for the 2022 finals – along with Japan, who recently withdrew from the race to host in 2018.
“I think for 2018 it will be a European candidate,” Blatter said.
“But apart from England you have the bid from Spain and Portugal, the small but very pleasant bid of the Netherlands and Belgium, and the big Russia also wants to come in.”
England have long been favourites to land the finals in 2018 and Blatter says that it is up to the other countries to persuade Fifa otherwise.
“(England’s bid) is the easiest bid in the world,” he said.
“They have the football already organised. They have everything.
“England has no problem in delivering a World Cup.
“The other bidders must convince the executive committee. England does not have to convince us.”
But Blatter did admit that Russia had emerged as strong contenders.
“I was there recently and what they presented is remarkable. Russia is not a country but a continent and Russia has big plans to expand,” he added.