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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep, 29, 2009

Mexico withdraw from race to host World Cup

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

The Mexican Football Federation said in a statement on their official website that financial concerns were behind their decision to withdraw from the race for both 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 added that it would be "practically impossible'' to find the public and private investment required to bring the country's stadia up to scratch in time to stage the event. "In Mexico we do have a sufficient number of stadia to stage the contest, but the majority of these were built several years ago to meet old FIFA requirements,'' the statement continued.

Mexico, who hosted the World Cup in 1970 and 1986, were always considered an outsider in the 2018/2022 tender. With the neighbouring United States putting together an impressive bid and the 2014 edition 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 the 2018 and 2022 events.

The other bidders include England, Australia, Indonesia, Japan and Russia, while 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 secretary general Jerome Valcke added: "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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