Indonesia show surprise World Cup ambitions

BERNE, Switzerland - Indonesia have put themselves forward as surprise bidders for the 2018 or 2022 World Cup, FIFA said on Wednesday.

The proposal from the Indonesian FA is one of six already received by FIFA ahead of Monday's deadline, a spokesman for soccer's world governing body said.

England, Japan, Qatar, Russia and a joint application from Spain and Portugal are the other formal expressions of interest already on the table.

Several other countries, including Australia, China, Mexico, plus the Netherlands and Belgium jointly, have told local media they will join the race before the deadline passes.

A lack of footballing pedigree -- the national team is currently placed 144th in FIFA's world rankings -- and creaking infrastructure mean Indonesia will likely be labelled an outsider for hosting the World Cup.

Nugraha Besoes, secretary general of the Indonesian FA (PSSI), said the lengthy run-up towards the 2022 World Cup would help the country's chances of tabling a serious bid.

"We can see that this is about 13 years ahead, so why don't we be brave and try to host it?" he said.

World soccer's governing body decided in 2007 to adapt its continental rotation policy, announcing that future World Cups could not be staged in any continent that had hosted one of the two previous World Cups.

If Indonesia's expression of interest develops into a full bid, it could be in direct competition with fellow Asian football confederation members Japan and Australia.

A similarly tight internal battle is expected in Europe if England, Russia, Spain/Portugal and Netherlands/Belgium all confirm their bidding interests.

FIFA is due to announce the hosts of both the 2018 and 2022 tournaments in December 2010.