- Associated Press - Thursday, December 2, 2010

ZURICH (AP) - Russia will host the 2018 World Cup.

It was chosen Thursday by FIFA’s executive committee over England and joint bids by Spain-Portugal and Netherlands-Belgium.

Russia won despite the absence of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Zurich. At the last minute, he declined to make a final pitch for his country.

The 2022 host was to be announced minutes later. The U.S. was competing with Australia, Japan, Qatar and South Korea.