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U.S. will bid for World Cup in 2018 or 2022

CHICAGO (AP) -- The United States plans to submit simultaneousbids to soccer's governing body for the right to host the World Cupin either 2018 or 2022.

The U.S. Soccer Federation said Thursday that USSF presidentSunil Gulati will hold a telephone conference call on Monday toannounce the group's intentions to bid for the tournament in bothyears. The U.S. staged the World Cup in 1994, the highest-attendedWorld Cup ever.

Monday is the deadline for submissions to FIFA, and four bidsare expected from Europe: England, Spain/Portugal,Netherlands/Belgium/Luxembourg and Russia.

In Asia, Indonesia announced its candidacy on Wednesday, joiningAustralia and Qatar. China and Japan were expected to follow in thecoming days.

FIFA intends to decide on the 2018 and 2022 sites in December2010. Next year's World Cup is in South Africa and the 2014tournament is scheduled for Brazil.

Brazil's government and FIFA say soccer's governing body hasagreed to the country's request to have the 2014 World Cup playedin 12 cities rather than 10.

"FIFA thinks that of the 12 cities, one will be in the Amazonand the other one in the Pantanal," Sports Minister Orlando Silvasaid Thursday after Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silvamet with FIFA president Sepp Blatter. "They are fundamentaltourist destinations that deserve to be promoted."

Seventeen cities are vying for the right to stage games, thefirst World Cup in South America since the 1978 tournament inArgentina. Silva said FIFA will announce the 12 cities on March 20.

Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte and Brasilia hope to host the opener,and Rio de Janeiro is the primary candidate for the final.

New York Sports