Russia to Bid for 2018 World Cup

Russia is joining the race to host the World Cup in 2018 or 2022, a senior official in the Russian Football Union said Friday.

"Yesterday we sent an official letter to FIFA informing them of our intentions to bid for the World Cup in 2018 or 2022," RFU general director Alexei Sorokin said.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has urged the Russians to enter the fray. "I definitely expect Russia to be a candidate," he told Sports, Tourism and Youth Politics Minister Vitaly Mutko during a recent visit to Moscow.

Sorokin said his country had pinned its hopes on the 2018 tournament. FIFA, world football's governing body, has set a Feb. 2 deadline for potential bidders to formally express their interest.