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Last Updated: Monday, 10 May, 2004, 17:32 GMT 18:32 UK
Gaddafi upbeat about Libya's bid
Al Saadi Gaddafi with Fifa boss Sepp Blatter (left)
Gaddafi (right) says Libya has a competitive bid
Libya remains optimistic of winning the right to host the 2010 World Cup, even though Fifa ranked the North African country last among the five candidate nations.

Al Saadi Gaddafi, the son of the Libyan leader and the bid's front man, has declared that his country is not ready to throw in the towel just yet.

"We have the most competitive bid among all nations," Saadi said in a statement provided to reporters on Monday.

He issued the statement after being forced to cancel a planned news conference in Monaco for health reasons.

We have the most competitive bid among all nations
Al Saadi Gaddafi
Aides said the younger Gaddafi, who plays for Italian side Perugia and is also vice president of the Libyan federation, is recovering in an Italian hospital after an operation on his appendix.

Libya is pressing on with a solo candidacy after Fifa last week rejected their bid to co-host the World Cup with neighbouring Tunisia.

Libya has promised to spend around US$9 billion in infrastructure to prepare for the tournament, the statement said.

"I'm confident we will have all phases of the event ready to make it the most memorable and well organised World Cup ever," Saadi said.

On Saturday, Fifa's 24-member executive committee will choose the World Cup host for 2010 - the first time that Africa is to host football's premier event.

Libya's bid is widely seen as part of a broader rapprochement with the West.

Libya: No-hopers?
07 May 04  |  African
SA lead 2010 race
04 May 04  |  African

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