FIFA will attempt to pull off a sporting first in December when it chooses the host nations for two major events -- the 2018 and the 2022 World Cups -- at the same time.
Until Friday, it had not been announced how world soccer's governing body intended to organise the vote. The mystery was unveiled following a meeting of FIFA's executive committee in Zurich.
Nine bids representing 11 countries are involved in the contest.
Two unnamed bidders are currently being investigated by FIFA's ethics committee for alleged collusion, an offence which could ultimately lead to disqualification.
-FIFA's decision to combine the votes was made in December 2008.
-For much of the campaign, a number of bidders had been candidates for either World Cup. The matter has recently been simplified with the European candidates -- England, Russia, Spain/Portugal and Belgium/Netherlands -- bidding for 2018 and the others -- Japan, South Korea, Australia, United States and Qatar -- aiming for 2022.
-The 24 members of FIFA's executive committee are eligible to vote. However, two have been provisionally suspended pending an internal investigation into allegations that they offered to sell their votes to undercover newspaper reporters.
FIFA said that if necessary, the vote will take place without them. They will not be replaced.
-The 2018 vote will take place first followed by the 2022.
-The winners will be the bid which obtains 50 percent plus one of the votes of the executive committee members present. If no bid achieves an absolute majority, the bidders with the lowest number of votes will be eliminated and a new round of voting will take place.
-If the voting comes down to the last two bids and there is a tie, FIFA president Sepp Blatter will have the casting vote.
-The presentations by the bidding nations to the executive committee will begin on Dec. 1. and will last 30 minutes each. They will be broadcast on the Internet. The 2022 bidders will present their case on Dec.1 and the 2018 candidates on the following morning.
-The presentation and voting will take place at FIFA headquarters. The winners will be announced by Blatter at a Zurich exhibition hall.
For the Reuters sports blog Left Field go to: http://blogs.reuters.com/sport/))
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