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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 May, 2004, 17:21 GMT 18:21 UK
Tunisia deny 2010 withdrawal
By Tracie Simpson
BBC Sport

Tunisia after winning the Cup of Nations in February
Tunisia were hoping to build on the success of the Cup of Nations
Tunisia's football association has denied reports that it has withdrawn its bid to host the 2010 World Cup.

Early on Saturday Fifa President Sepp Blatter claimed he had received word from Tunisia that they were pulling out of the race.

The decision was thought to have resulted from Fifa's refusal to consider a proposal to co-host the event with Libya.

But Tunisian football association treasurer Hamammi Mahmoud has told BBC Sport that reports of a withdrawal are incorrect.

We do not know why it was possible for Asians and not possible for Africans
Tunisia FA treasurer Hamammi Mahmoud
However Mahmoud reiterated Tunisia's intention to push ahead with the co-hosting proposal.

"No it is not true, we did not decide to withdraw but we do confirm our intention to organise jointly with Libya," he said.

"We have sent a letter to Fifa requesting that they look into the issue of co-hosting as we do not believe it has examined this yet."

Blatter has always insisted that Fifa would not consider a joint bid for 2010 following Japan and Korea's co-hosted event in 2002.

But Tunisia are not happy with that decision.

"We think the African continent also has the right to organise a joint World Cup," Mahmoud added.

"We do not know why it was possible for Asians and not possible for Africans."

Mahmoud said while there had been suggestions from Fifa that it would not accept a joint bid, the Tunisian FA understood that the world governing body was yet to make a formal ruling on the issue.

"That is why we confirm our request again to jointly host with Libya and we would like the executive board of Fifa to study this request."

Fifa's executive is due to vote next Saturday to decide who will host the World Cup in 2010 and it seems unlikely that Tunisia will be able to change the organisations mind before then,

Tunisia out of 2010 race
08 May 04  |  African
Tunisia: Rank outsiders
07 May 04  |  African
Fontaine fumes over 2010 report
05 May 04  |  African

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