Winter Games candidates submit 2018 bid books on time

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) - All three candidate cities vying to host the 2018 Winter Games submitted their bid books by Tuesday's International Olympic Committee (IOC) deadline.

France's Annecy, South Korea's Pyeongchang and Germany's Munich will now await evaluation visits by the IOC in February and March before the final vote determines the winner in Durban, South Africa in July.

Apart from their Games plans, the bid books also contain all guarantees, including financial, requested by the IOC from the cities and governments involved.

"We believe we have developed a strong technical file and a compelling Winter Games plan that will create an ideal setting for the athletes, fans and the Olympic Family," said Pyeongchang chairman and chief executive Cho Yang-ho.

This is the South Korean city's third straight run for the Games after narrowly losing out to Vancouver and Russia's Sochi for the 2010 and 2014 Games.

Annecy's bid submission coincided with the appointment of its new chief executive, businessman Charles Beigbeder who replaced Edgar Grospiron and has to reverse the fate of their troubled bid.

The French finished bottom of a technical report last June and were told to change their plans to a more compact bid and Grospiron, an Olympic moguls skiing gold medallist, resigned in December over what he said was a lack of funds in support of the bid.

Munich handed in their book without having managed to end, as promised, a dispute with dozens of Bavarian farmers over the use of their land for the Games.

Officials said they were now hopeful a final deal would be in place in the coming weeks although the farmers at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, planned site of the Alpine events, have repeatedly said they will not offer their land for the Games.

(Writing by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Tony Jimenez)