Russia: Hiddink can help us defeat England

MOSCOW - Russia want national team coach Guus Hiddink to spearhead their bid to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cup, FA general secretary Alexei Sorokin said on Tuesday.

"We would like Guus to become an honorary ambassador of our World Cup campaign," Sorokin told Reuters. "We feel that his worldwide appeal would greatly enhance our chances to compete with other nations, such as England and Spain."

England announced on Monday they will be counting on David Beckham among others to help their World Cup bid.

Hiddink has become a cult figure in Russia after last year steering the national team to the European Championship semi-finals for the first time in 20 years.

The 62-year-old Dutchman was appointed Chelsea's interim manager in February but returns to his full-time job coaching Russia at the end of May as he bids to guide the national team to the 2010 World Cup finals.

Sorokin said the Russian FA would present their plan to Hiddink when he arrives in Moscow to prepare the squad for next month's World Cup qualifier against Finland.

Russia, who received government backing for their World Cup campaign this month, face tough competition in their attempt to stage a major championship for the first time.

FIFA said in March that 13 countries had expressed an interest in hosting the 2018 or 2022 tournaments. The hosts for both events will be chosen in December next year.

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