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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 May, 2004, 16:14 GMT 17:14 UK
Morocco: Fifa report 'flawed'
Morocco 2010 World Cup bid leader Saad Kettani
Morocco 2010 World Cup bid leader Saad Kettani says Fifa report is flawed
Fifa's assessment of the five African countries bidding to host the 2010 World Cup is riddled with discrepancies, the president of Morocco's bid committee claimed on Thursday.

Saad Kettani said he was disappointed at several conclusions reached in the report, which ranked Morocco only third behind rival bidders South Africa and Egypt.

Fifa, world football's governing body, published its technical assessment on Tuesday after its inspection team visited the five bidding countries.

"I can say we're a bit angry because there are many discrepancies in the report, " said Kettani, speaking for the first time since publication of the Fifa report.

How can they say we're lacking when we're already ahead of the other countries?
Saad Kettani
"I urge Fifa executive committee members to read the factual part of the report and ignore the subjective conclusions at the end.

I'm confident that Morocco can host an absolutely fantastic World Cup."

Kettani said the bare facts of the evaluation report show that Morocco fulfils all Fifa requirements when it comes to stadiums, finance, health, security, government support and enthusiasm for the tournament.

However, he said the conclusions reached by the five-man inspection team led by Belgian Jan Peeters failed to tally with the factual evidence.

"If you look at facts only, it's clear that we have the best bid," said Kettani.

"We're the only candidate that fulfils all Fifa requirements. I can't believe that this has not come out in the conclusions."

I can say we're a bit angry because there are many discrepancies in the report
Saad Kettani
Kettani said the report concluded that Morocco was lacking in stadiums though the facts show it has three completed stadiums, it has three under construction and another three are to be built should it win the bid.

"How can they say we're lacking when we're already ahead of the other countries?" asked a furious Kettani.

"When Japan and Korea first bid for the World Cup they did not have any stadiums ready."

The bid chief said is also unhappy with the report's comments that Morocco would not leave a post-World Cup a legacy as well as suggestions that Moroccans lacked enthusiasm for football.

"They talk about South Africa and how symbolic it is 10 years after apartheid.

"Yes, that is good. But they fail to talk about how we see the 2010 World Cup not as a Moroccan World Cup but as an African World Cup.

"The fact that we will set up a fund to help Africa in health, education and fight poverty I think is a good legacy.

Representatives from Morocco, South Africa and Egypt are in Kuala Lumpur to present their bids to the Asian Football Confederation's executive committee on Friday.

Asia has three votes on the FIFA Executive.

The winning candidate will be announced in Zurich on 15 May following a final Fifa executive meeting on the issue.

Fifa's 2010 World Cup report
04 May 04  |  African
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05 May 04  |  African
Fontaine fumes over 2010 report
05 May 04  |  African
Africa's 2010 contenders
22 Apr 04  |  African

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