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Smertin hopeful on Russia bid

Former Chelsea man hoping for a 'football revolution' in Russia

Last Updated: 23/11/10 1:00pm

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Smertin and Gullit: Vying for votes

Smertin and Gullit: Vying for votes

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Bid ambassador Alexei Smertin is confident the 2018 World Cup will be coming to Russia.

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Russia will find out next Thursday whether they have won the right to host the prestigious event.

And the bookmakers' favourites are confident of securing enough votes as they go up against Spain/Portugal, England and Holland/Belgium when the announcement is made at Fifa headquarters in Zurich.

Russia's bid ambassador, former Chelsea midfielder Smertin, is optimistic about what the World Cup would bring to his country.

The 35-year-old told Sky Sports News: "If we get the World Cup it will be a huge event.

"It will be like a football revolution for the next generation of young people and in terms of legacy, it is very important for us."


Meanwhile, the Iberian bid is confident of securing enough votes to bring the tournament to their nations.

Bid chief executive Miguel Angel Lopez said he is 'moderately confident' of winning, claiming they already have as many as eight of the 22 Fifa votes in the bag.

Asked about reports that Spain/Portugal already had eight votes, Lopez said: "It would be about that, more or less."

He confirmed that he expected most support from South America and from Asia rather than Europe, and was not expecting Uefa president Michel Platini to back their bid.

"Latin America is our natural territory," added Lopez.

Lopez also believes that whatever happens between now and the vote on 2nd December, most Fifa members have already made up their minds.

"All the fish is sold," Lopez said.


Dutch legend Ruud Gullit feels it is time for Fifa to give smaller nations the chance to host the tournament despite being outsiders for the bid.

The former AC Milan star believes the Holland/Belgium is strong and has a real chance of winning.

"We only have to only think about our own bids. We don't have to think about what others do," he said.

"Our bid is a good bid and on December 2nd, when we present our bid, hopefully they will take notice of the fact that we are a strong bid and they vote for us."

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