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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 June, 2003, 16:12 GMT 17:12 UK
2010 World Cup bids confirmed
England captain David Beckham with former South Africa president Nelson Mandela
England's trip was seen as a PR exercise for the South African bid
Six African countries - Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa and Tunisia - have officially confirmed their interest in hosting the 2010 World Cup.

Fifa has already decided the World Cup will take place in Africa for the first time, starting a planned rotation of the tournament around the continents.

"I am thrilled that we have six candidates formally confirmed as official bidders for the 2010 World Cup," said Fifa president Sepp Blatter.

"As it will be the first World Cup to be staged in Africa, it will no doubt be a momentous occasion and an exciting tournament."

All six countries met Saturday's deadline by submitting documents to Fifa showing they had the full support of their governments and could provide guarantees on issues like security, accommodation, right of entry and taxation.

South Africa will start as favourites after controversially losing out to Germany in their bid to host the 2006 tournament.

Bidding countries have until 30 September to complete their bid documents and submit them to Fifa.

Inspections by members of world football's governing body will then take place between 1 October 2003 and 31 January 2004.

The final decision will be made by the Fifa executive committee in Paris next May.

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