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FIFA Begins Inspections Of 2018, 2022 World Cup Bid Countries

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The two-month process of inspecting facilities in countries bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups starts today, with FIFA officials in Japan for stop one of a nine country tour.  

Japan, concentrating its bid on winning the 2022 finals, welcomed Harold Mayne-Nicholls, head of the five-member evaluation team that will prepare reports on each county for the FIFA executive committee.  That 24-person committee will use the reports in deciding which countries will be awarded the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, a decision which will be handed-down in Zurich on December 2.

South Korea, the next stop on Mayne-Nicholls' tour, is also concentrating its efforts on 2022, as are Australia and Qatar.

After visiting South Korea, Mayne-Nicholls will visit Australia before taking a break ahead of visiting Europe's four candidates:  the Netherlands-Belgium (joint bid), Russia, England, and Spain-Portugal.

The final visits will be to the United States and Qatar, the tour culminating on September 17.

Tentative dates of inspection:

July 19-22:  Japan

July 22-25:  South Korea

July 28-29:  Australia

August 9-12:  The Netherlands-Belgium

August 16-19:  Russia

August 23-26:  England

August 30-September 2: Spain-Portugal

September 6-9:  United States

September 13-17:  Qatar