Iberian bid confident of votes

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The head of Spain/Portugal's World Cup 2018 bid has claimed they already have as many as eight of the 22 Fifa votes in the bag.

The Iberian countries are up against England, Russia and Holland/Belgium and their bid chief executive Miguel Angel Lopez said he is "moderately confident" of winning.

Lopez's confidence reflects many Fifa observers' feelings that Spain/Portugal are narrowly ahead of Russia in the race with England just behind - and still in the contest.

Asked about reports that Spain/Portugal already had eight votes, Lopez said: "It would be about that, more or less."

He confirmed that he expected most support from South America and from Asia rather than Europe, and was not expecting Uefa president Michel Platini to back their bid.

"Latin America is our natural territory," added Lopez, and said that the bid would probably have to do without any backing from Platini, plus two other European Fifa members not connected with a bidding country, Senes Erzik from Turkey and Cyprus' Marios Lefkaritis."

He added: "They haven't given us any indication they will [vote for us]", but added that he was more optimistic of support from the four Asian Fifa members.

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