FIFA has today kicked off the 24-month process to select the hosts of the 2018 and the 2022 FIFA World Cups™ by sending out a circular letter to the member associations eligible to bid (145 for 2018, 198 for 2022) inviting them to express their interest to submit a bid for either or both of these competitions.

In accordance with the decision of the FIFA Executive Committee at its meeting in December in Tokyo, there will be a simultaneous bidding process for both editions of the FIFA World Cup™, the biggest single-sport event in the world. The process will finish in December 2010, when the Executive Committee will appoint the hosts.

In the letter, FIFA stresses the fact that its flagship competition has the unequivocal power to wake emotions and unite people worldwide. FIFA is determined that this overwhelming ability to reach out to the world should benefit the game of football itself and society in general, and therefore asks that candidates make sure that this power is used in order to achieve positive change, in line with FIFA's philosophy: For the Game. For the World.

More details about the bidding process itself, the calendar and the conditions can be found in the circular letter, which is available on fifa.com (Click on the link to the right of this article to the see the circular letter.)