September 4 - London's £547 million Olympic Stadium looks set to be part of the 2018 World Cup bid after it emerged that it is one of four venues being proposed by the London United team responsible for coordinating the capital's contribution to the bid.

It had previously been thought that the 80,000 capacity Olympic Stadium would be adapted for athletics immediately following the 2012 Games, but it has now emerged that the group, who are working with London Mayor Boris Johnson, are keen to include the stadium as part of the World Cup bid.

Simon Greenberg, the chairman of London United and director said: "The Olympic Stadium is being put forward as a potential match venue for 2018/2022.

"That is subject to a final decision to be made about its capacity - but that decision is likely to be post-date our final proposal.

"Clearly the Olympic Stadium and Olympic Park would strengthen the bid in a whole variety of ways, including the legacy aspect and also as one of the most modern stadiums in the world.

"Overall it is natural to be included in the proposal."

It will add fresh doubt over the future of the Stadium after the 2012 Olympics.

Premiership West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur were both keen to move into it after the Olympics but neither was prepared for the running track to remain.

Sebastian Coe, the chairman of London 2012 and a Vice-President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), has always insisted that the Stadium will continue to be able to host world-class athletics events after the Olympics. 

The former double Olympic 1500 metres champion wants it to be downsized to 25,000 after the Olympics and retain the running track.

The Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell has ruled out the Stadium being used for the World Cup because of the amount it would cost to mantain in the six years between the two events.

But Johnson is keen for it to be a World Cup venue along with Wembley, the Emirates and Tottenham's proposed new ground.

Greenberg said: "Together they will be four of the most advanced and modern stadiums in London and indeed the world.

"All the conversations we have had with the various stakeholders in the Olympic Stadium are that we should be putting it forward and they are very keen for it to be included in the bid."

England are the favourites to be chosen to host the World Cup when world governing body FIFA makes its decision at a meeting in December 2010.

They are one of nine bidders.

The others are Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Russia and United States along with joint bids from Spain and Portugal and Holland and Belgium.

Qatar and South Korea are bidding for just the 2022 World Cup, which is being awarded at the same time.

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October 2008: Tottenham rule out Olympic Stadium move as Rogge reopens the debate
September 2008: ODA chairman insists that Olympic Stadium will retain track after the Games