Iberian bid focuses on facilities

ZURICH - Airports and motorways featured more prominently than footballers as Spain and Portugal's joint-bid used a long final presentation to reassure FIFA's executive committee of its readiness to host the 2018 World Cup.

Although the presentations are limited to 30 minutes, the Spain/Portugal submission clocked in at over 40 minutes, mainly due to an impassioned speech by Angel Maria Villar, the Iberian bid president and a member of FIFA's executive committee.

"FIFA is clean, FIFA does things honestly, FIFA works for football and the world," he said to applause ahead of the vote later on Thursday. "All my colleagues present are honest, hard-working and work for football. Your are honest workers."

"The process is clean, whatever they say."

The focus on facilities was a stark contrast to the lively Belgium/Netherlands presentation which preceded it. England and Russia are the other bidders for the tournament and were due to follow the Spain/Portugal presentation in that order.

The presentation began with speeches by the countries' respective Prime Ministers, Jose Socrates of Portugal and Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero of Spain. It included three short films.

They were broadly the same and featured numerous shots of trains, airports and roads, but made little reference to football.

Unlike the other bids, the presentation included no former or current players.