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Portsmouth and Leicester to bid for 2018 World Cup

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Portsmouth and Leicester have become two of the first English cities to unveil their bids to be included as host venues for the 2018 World Cup if England is selected to stage the tournament.

A total of 15 English cities are expected to unveil an outline bid for host city status ahead of the Football Association's (FA) 8 July deadline, with FIFA regulations stipulating that prospective host nations must put forward a total of 10 stadiums as part of the bidding process, each with a capacity for at least 40,000 people. Cities will also need to provide sufficient hotel accommodation for teams, officials and supporters, fan parks for supporters and good travel links with the rest of the country, as well as training facilities and potential base camps.

Portsmouth Football Club (PFC) is planning to build a new 45,000-seat stadium in time for the tournament, and chief executive Peter Storrie is confident that the city will be capable of meeting the necessary requirements. Storrie said: "We need a 45,000-seat stadium to be able to become a World Cup venue and whether it is at Fratton Park or at Horsea Island, we will do all we can to achieve this.

"The FA is very keen to have a stadium in the south and it will mean that the whole area would be a very exciting place to be for a six-to-eight-week period before and during the World Cup." Meanwhile, Leicester City Football Club (LCFC) chief executive Lee Hoos said that the benefits of staging a World Cup fixture in the East Midlands city would not be felt across the entire community.

Hoos said: "It has been said that the real winners of the World Cup are the host cities, not just the team that eventually wins the tournament, because of the economic benefits it brings." The final deadline for prospective host cities to put forward their case is 6 November, with the FA set to announce which cities will form part of England's bid to host the 2018 tournament in December. England will then submit its proposals to FIFA in May 2010.

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Portsmouth and Leicester have become two of the first English cities to unveil their bids to be included as host venues for the 2018 World Cup if England is selected to stage the tournament.
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