England, USA Frontrunners in INSIDER World Cup Bid Power Index

England 2018 inches ahead of its rivals with USA 2022 just edging Qatar as the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bid race enters the final straight. With just hours to go until the FIFA vote, the fourth edition of World Football INSIDER's World Cup Bid Power Index reveals the final analysis of the nine bidders.

The INSIDER Index is the only regularly published review of World Cup bids that is based on expert analysis and first-hand contact with the bid nations, including interviews with bid leaders and information and figures from each of the bid launches.

"Despite Spain-Portugal's status as favorite in some quarters, England now boasts a 14-point lead over the Iberian bid in the bid power index, which shows the relative strengths and weaknesses of all the bidders for the two tournaments," WFI editor Mark Bisson said.

"England also enjoys a three-point advantage over Russia. In the 2022 contest, the USA tops the rankings. "

Ahead of the Dec. 2 vote by the FIFA Executive Committee, the bid power index looks very different from the Sept. 29 edition when Russia was coming back at England and Qatar was sliding out of the reckoning. Bisson and UK correspondent James Corbett are on the scene in Zurich for the vote Thursday.

Scored across 10 categories, England gets 70 out of 100 possible points (up 2 points). The USA returns to second spot in the rankings with 68 (up 2 points), with Russia (same as before) and Qatar on 67 (up 2 points). South Korea are on 63 (up 2 points), with Holland-Belgium and Australia on 62 points.

Spain-Portugal and Japan both have sub-60 scores, reflecting the myriad problems associated with their technical bids and the conduct of their campaigns.

The 10 categories are: bid operations/leadership; wow factor and unique selling points; relations with FIFA Executive Committee members; cost and funding resources; government and public support; international PR; venue plans; security; transport and accommodation; and legacy.

In addition to coverage on www.WorldFootballinsider.com, readers can keep up to speed on breaking World Cup news by following INSIDER on Twitter - twitter.com/WorldFBinsider.

WFI editor Mark Bisson is available for interviews. Contact Sheila Scott Hula Sheila@worldfootballinsider.com or call +1-404-874-1603

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