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By ESPN Staff
Oct 28, 2010

Iberian bid team denies collusion

The joint Spain and Portugal bid to host the 2018 World Cup have denied claims of alleged collusion with Qatar, who are looking to stage the 2022 competition.

• England complain over comments
• Russia: England bid team "primitive"
• FIFA hit by cash-for-votes claim

FIFA are currently investigating "rumours" of an agreement between two countries bidding separately for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments to exchange votes, something explicitly forbidden by the regulations.

Although FIFA did not name the countries, former FIFA general secretary Michel Zen-Ruffinen is alleged to have told undercover reporters that the Spain-Portugal bid has struck a deal with Qatar.

However, Miguel Angel Lopez, general manager of the Candidatura Iberica World Cup bid, said on Thursday: "The Candidatura Iberica already told FIFA last Wednesday that it does not have any agreement with any other candidate and that I'm ready to work with FIFA to clear this matter up."

Aside from Spain/Portugal, the other countries competing to host the 2018 tournament are England, Russia and Holland/Belgium, while the 2022 World Cup hosts will be from Australia, USA, Qatar, Japan and South Korea.

The winning bids are set to be announced following a vote by the FIFA executive committee in Zurich on December 2.

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