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World Cup 2018 bidding

Mexico withdraws bid to host 2018 and 2022 World Cups

• Federation cites 'global economic environment'
• Need to update stadiums seen as too expensive

world cup

The World Cup will not be visiting Mexico in 2018 or 2022. Photograph: Matthew Ashton/Empics Sport

Mexico, one of England's rivals to host the 2018 World Cup, has pulled out of the bidding process.

The Mexican Football Federation said in a statement on its official website that financial concerns were behind its decision to withdraw from the race for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.

"The decision is based on two premises: the global economic environment and the investment that would be required in infrastructure," read the statement. "The foreseeable outlook regarding the global economic environment does not allow the country's authorities – neither at federal nor local government level – to commit funds towards the necessary works required by an event of this magnitude."

The federation said it would be "practically impossible" to find the public and private investment required to bring the country's stadiums up to scratch in time to stage the event.

"In Mexico we do have a sufficient number of stadiums to stage the contest, but the majority of these were built several years ago to meet old Fifa requirements," the statement continued.

Mexico, which hosted the World Cup in 1970 and 1986, was always an outsider in the 2018 and 2022 tender. With the United States putting together an impressive bid and the 2014 tournament being staged in Brazil, it was always unlikely that Fifa would opt for more than one country in the Americas when voting on the hosts for 2018 and 2022.

The other bidders include England, Australia, Indonesia, Japan and Russia. Portugal and Spain have tabled a joint bid, as have Belgium and Holland. South Korea and Qatar will compete with the other eight bids to host the 2022 World Cup, with Fifa set to decide on the hosts of both events in December 2010.

Fifa's secretary general, Jérôme Valcke, said: "Even though Mexico, one of the biggest football nations on earth and host of two Fifa World Cups, has finally opted to withdraw its bid to stage a third edition, Fifa wishes to thank the whole Mexican football family for having taken part in this process.

"We obviously fully respect this decision and are very much looking forward to continued cooperation with the Mexican Football Federation as another very nice goal approaches, namely the Fifa Under-17 World Cup 2011, for which the preparations are well on track."


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Mexico withdraws bid to host 2018 and 2022 World Cups

This article was published on guardian.co.uk at 15.07 BST on Tuesday 29 September 2009. It was last modified at 16.49 BST on Tuesday 29 September 2009.

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