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Schwarzenegger joins US World Cup effort

2 June 2009 23:45

NEW YORK (AFP) - California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has joined the bid committee trying to bring the World Cup to the United States in either 2018 or 2022.

"Soccer is the world's most popular sport and California has been home to some of its most exciting games, and I am proud to be a part of bringing the World Cup back to the United States," the former Hollywood star and bodybuilder said.

California venues have traditionally been used for major international matches in the United States.

The Rose Bowl in the Los Angeles suburb of Pasadena hosted the 1994 World Cup final and the 1999 Women's World Cup final.

The 2003 Women's World Cup final was held at the Home Depot Center in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson.

Six stadiums in California are among 58 venues in the United States under consideration to host World Cup matches in 2018 or 2022: the Rose Bowl, Stanford Stadium, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Memorial Stadium in Berkeley and Oakland-Alameda County Stadium.

No other state has that many venues in the hunt.

"The millions of fans from around the globe that will travel to the United States to cheer their teams will prove a great benefit for our state, our nation and the world of soccer," the Austrian-born Schwarzenegger said.

The United States is one of nine countries that have put their hats in the ring to host the World Cup in either 2018 or 2022.

Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico and Russia, with joint bids proposed from Netherlands-Belgium and Portugal-Spain.

Qatar and South Korea have applied only as candidates to host the 2022 tournament.

All candidates must have their formal bid applications to FIFA by May 14, 2010. FIFA will award the tournaments in December of 2010.

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