Madrid:FIFA president Sepp Blatter says a deal for Europe to host the 2018 World Cup is being negotiated.
England, Russia and joint bids from Spain and Portugal, and Belgium-Netherlands are currently competing to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cup.
"From what I've discussed with the president of UEFA, Michel Platini, in the last few days in Moscow is that only a European candidate will be evaluated for the 2018 World Cup," Blatter said from the Spanish capital on Monday.
"It's still not decided, but it's an idea to help facilitate the work of FIFA and its executive committee." Australia, Japan and the United States are also bidding for either 2018 or 2022, while South Korea, Indonesia and Qatar are in the running to host the 2022 tournament only.
Blatter said candidates must submit bid documentation by the end of May and FIFA will study those in June before sending out its specialists to assess whether those nations can organize a successful World Cup.
The governing body will select the 2018 and 2022 hosts at Zurich in December.
Blatter also said that the two European joint bids had good chanced of holding the tournament.
"History has shown that at the European Championships of 2000 (Belgium-Netherlands) and 2008 (Austria-Switzerland) that joint-organization can be a great success," Blatter told Spanish media after meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.