Spain and Portugal goes for World Cup 2018

The football associations of Spain and Portugal have formally agreed to submit a joint bid to host the 2018 World Cup.

Portuguese Federation president Gilberto Madail signed the official FIFA document with Spanish counterpart Angel Maria Villar in Lisbon yesterday after an Iberian bid had been mooted for over a year.

Under the joint plan, Spain is expected to host the greater share of matches. FIFA regulations stipulate that candidates must provide approximately 12 stadiums capable holding at least 40,000 fans for group matches, and one stadium of at least 80,000 capacity to stage the opening match and final.

“We will create a joint commission to assess all FIFA conditions,” said Portuguese Federation president Gilberto Madail to reporters after signing the document.

The Iberian bid will expect strong support from the three South American representatives on FIFA's 24-man executive committee.

FIFA announced last month there would be a simultaneous bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments. Other countries who are proposed to be bidding to host either or both of the tournaments are England, Australia, Russia, China, Qatar, the United States, Japan and a joint bid from Belgium/Holland.

The winning bids will be announced in December 2010.