England and Russia battle it out with joint bids from Spain and Portugal as well as Belgium and the Netherlands.

Former Dutch, Chelsea and AC Milan striker Rudd Gullit has put sustainability at the heart of the joint bid he leads from Belgium and the Netherlands.

The bid has focused on green building with stadiums featuring floodlights powered by wind turbines, recycled plastic in football shirts and pitches that will power stadiums through players running on them.

Mr Gullit, who arrived to present the bid on a bicycle, also said the two countries would make two million cycles freely available to fans with tickets to encourage them to travel sustainability.

He said: “Green candidacy is spectacular because we are 50% less damaging to the environment and encourage the fans to cycle to matches to go green.”

Bid chief executive, Harry Been, said: “A World Cup here would be the greenest ever and the green ambition of the Amsterdam ArenA fits in very well with our strategy.”

Luke Walsh

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