Putin stand-in quotes Churchill as Russians go on charm offensive

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By David Owen in Zurich

December 2 – Hosting the World Cup would help Russians in their quest to build a new country and overcome the difficulties they faced in the 20th century, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov told FIFA today, as Russia brought down the curtain on an intensive two days of bid presentations.

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Putin absence gives hope to World Cup 2018 bidders

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By Andrew Warshaw in Zurich

December 1 – The race to stage the 2018 and 2022 World Cups reaches a nail-biting climax tomorrow with Spain/Portugal and England emerging as potential opponents for the final round of bidding for 2018 and the United States out in front for the latter tournament.

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