Following several retractions and rejections, there were four formal bids to host the 2018 World Cup considered by FIFA in 2009. These were:
The FIFA Executive Committee, comprised of 22 members, held the final vote on who would host the 2018 World Cup. Russia won in the second round of voting, with Spain/Portugal the second preference of the committee.
There are twelve to sixteen venues in eleven cities currently scheduled to host 2018 World Cup Russia matches. The cities include:
- Saint Petersburg
- Nizhny Novgorod
Nine of the venues will be built essentially from scratch, all complying with strict FIFA stadium standards. Russia expects to spend around $20 billion preparing the stadiums, all of which will begin construction before the end of 2014 and should be completed in 2017. Around half of the requisite capital will come from private investors.
The qualification process for the 2018 World Cup will likely be similar to that for the 2014 World Cup. As for the finals, there is currently every indication is that there will be a similar 32 team format employed, rather than an increase to 40 teams as has been suggested by some. The increase to 40 teams has been put forward to allow more African and Asian teams to compete.