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Aug 23, 2010

Blatter warns England's 2018 bid of Russia threat

FIFA President Sepp Blatter has told England's 2018 bid team that it would be ''easy'' for them to host the World Cup, but warned that Russia is a strong opponent.

• Warshaw: Clegg in prime position
• Warshaw: Seeing is believing

England's bid for the 2018 World Cup is undergoing a four-day FIFA inspection that started off with a Downing Street reception where deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg called the bid ''unbeatable''. But Blatter - who is not part of the six-man inspection team - was quick to warn England that there are others with valid claims to hosting the tournament.

Speaking in Singapore, Blatter told insideworldfootball.biz: ''The easiest way to organise the World Cup is to go to England. Everything is there - fans, stadiums, infrastructure - it's easy.''

Russia are viewed as England's biggest rivals to win the vote by FIFA's executive committee on December 2 and Blatter appeared to support that.

He added: ''You cannot deny Russia if they bid for something. They are more than a country. They are a big continent, a big power.''

Arsenal's Russian striker Andrei Arshavin claims his country would benefit more than England from hosting the 2018 World Cup and thinks that the fact England already has the infrastructure in place is a negative point.

''You should not have it,'' he told talkSPORT. ''You have everything. If you say, 'Let's start the World Cup tomorrow', you have everything already. For us it's going to be much more. In general, in worldwide football it would be better.

''It will let us get infrastructure because at the moment it is not good enough for football. Our people love football and it will probably be the biggest event this century for our people.''

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