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Putin snub boosts England bid

England's 2018 World Cup bid received a huge boost on Wednesday after Vladimir Putin confirmed he would not travel to Zurich for the vote.

Russia are one of England's main rivals and prime minister Putin appeared to criticise the FIFA process by saying his country had faced "unscrupulous competition".

Putin's remarks cast a major doubt against Russia's hopes and now Spain/Portugal look to be England's main rivals to win Thursday's vote by FIFA's executive committee.

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