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banner Sunday, 8 July, 2001, 13:12 GMT 14:12 UK
Blatter: World Cup coming to Africa
chief Blatter
Sepp Blatter is a self-confessed friend of Africa
It is now official. Fifa have confirmed it. Football's greatest showcase is coming to Africa.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter, a self-confessed friend of Africa, on Saturday delivered the news all supporters of the African game have long wanted to hear.

Speaking at the world body's Extraordinary Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Blatter said that the rotation system whereby the World Cup will be shared between the continents will start in Africa.

Africa's turn

The Fifa boss said the rotation policy will be further discussed at next year's congress in Seoul, South Korea. But he formally announced that Africa's turn has arrived.

"The Fifa Executive Committee has decided that the first continent to benefit (from the rotation system) will be Africa.

"We have to set the parameters of this principle of rotation and how it works. Next year, we will be ready to give all the details on the parameters," Blatter said.

Bidding war

The Fifa announcement will trigger an all-out bidding war amongst African countries with a burning ambition to stage the World Cup finals, namely South Africa and Morocco.

Although Blatter did not mention any dates, the rotation system will almost certainly kick-off with the 2010 edition.

South Africa looked poised to land the 2006 World Cup, but lost out to Germany by just one vote in highly controversial circumstances.

Guinea's suspension

Blatter's announcement was tempered with the news that Guinea's suspension from Fifa had been formally ratified.

This follows what Blatter described as "government interference" in the affairs of Guinea's football federation.

They don't want to understand that Fifa and CAF have no other alternative.
  Sepp Blatter
Guinea's suspension led to the country's expulsion from 2002 World Cup qualifiers.

Blatter said: "We have offered several times, even before the suspension, to mediate.

"It's absolutely stupid. They don't want to understand that Fifa and CAF have no other alternative."

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See also:

05 Feb 01 |  Africa
South Africa wait and see
21 Mar 01 |  Africa
2010 - The contenders react
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