Russia withdraw 2022 bid
Four-way battle to stage 2022 World Cup
Last Updated: 22/10/10 4:45pm
Russia out of the running
Russia have officially pulled out of the race to host the 2022 World Cup finals.
The decision relayed to Fifa on Friday was a formality once the United States pulled out of the 2018 contest last week, leaving a four-way race between European bidders.
Fifa rules dictate the World Cup cannot be played on the same continent for two straight tournaments.
Russia are competing with England and the joint bids of Belgium-Netherlands and Spain-Portugal to host the prestigious finals in eight years' time.
"Russia is setting its sights exclusively on being awarded the right to host the 2018 Fifa World Cup and has formally withdrawn its bid for the 2022 edition of the world's biggest and most important single sports event," read a statement.
The 2022 contest is now a straight fight between United States of America, Australia, Japan, South Korea and Qatar.
Fifa is currently investigating unnamed bidders for alleged vote-trading collusion. Their ethics committee will recommend next month if any bidders should be disqualified before the 2nd December vote.