England's 2018 World Cup bid team have announced the names of the 12 cities that will be part of their campaign with Derby, Leicester and Hull missing out.
2018 deputy chairman Lord Mawhinney announced a list of 16 venues in the 12 cities, which included Milton Keynes, Plymouth and several venues yet to be built.
"England is fortunate to have so many good stadia and I would like to congratulate all of the applicant host cities for the seven months of really hard work they have put in," the Football League chairman said.
"We have chosen cities which present the lowest possible risk to Fifa and it's Fifa who will make the final decision. There will also be a lot of disappointed football fans around the country – I understand that – and if I was a fan of theirs I would be just as disappointed."
Four of the named grounds are in in London, but Fifa regulations state only three stadia can be used in any one city. A decision is still to be made between the new White Hart Lane or the Olympic Stadium.
White Hart Lane is one of the grounds yet to be built or redeveloped, with the others being Ashton Vale stadium in Bristol and Nottingham's Forest's new ground.
There had been fears that Liverpool would miss out but Mawhinney said either Anfield or a new Anfield would be a host stadium. "It would have been very hard to envisage an impressive World Cup bid with host cities that did not include iconic Liverpool."
Reacting to the news of Sunderland's success, chairman Niall Quinn said it would provide a confidence boost to the whole city.
"Some questioned why we even went for the bid in the first place, because we'd always missed out in the past," Quinn told Sky. "Various things have happened in this city, in this region: the shipbuilding stopped, the coal mines closed and it's been a struggle ever since to regenerate and reinvent itself, but this is a huge help.
"This is massive for the city ... it can feel really good about itself tonight and we can build from this day forward. The pride up here in football and to bring the greatest show on earth here – it's going to be fantastic."
A final decision on the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups will be made by Fifa in December 2010. Should England be successful, Fifa would then make the final decision over host cities and stadiums by 2013.
2018 host cities
Birmingham – Villa Park; Bristol – New Ashton Vale Stadium; Leeds – Elland Road; Liverpool – Anfield or New Anfield; London – Wembley, Emirates Stadium, New White Hart Lane or Olympic Stadium; Manchester – City of Manchester Stadium, Old Trafford; Milton Keynes – Stadium MK; Newcastle – St James' Park; Nottingham – New stadium; Plymouth – New Home Park; Sheffield – Hillsborough; Sunderland – Stadium of Light