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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 January 2006, 13:17 GMT
Blatter calls for World Cup boost
Fifa president Sepp Blatter
Fifa president Sepp Blatter was talking at the Caf congress in Cairo
Fifa president Sepp Blatter has called for Africa to be given more places at future World Cup finals.

Africa will have five countries at Germany 2006, which kicks off in June.

"Those with a bigger representation will automatically have a better chance," he told the Confederation of African Football congress in Cairo.

"What must be done? You've to fight on the pitch and I can assure you that we'll continue to fight for a better African representation."

Blatter was talking at the Confederation of African Football congress that is taking place in Egypt ahead of the African Cup of Nations.

In 2010, Africa will host the finals for the first time when South Africa stages the competition.

Though Fifa has not finalised whether South Africa will cost the continent a place at 2010 or will, in fact, add a sixth slot, Blatter clearly indicated that he favoured the latter.

"In 1998, when I was on the way to the Fifa presidency, I had ... a project in mind to bring the World Cup to Africa. That has now been done," he explained.

Blatter said sceptics who predicted that a World Cup in Africa would generate less money than previous tournaments had been proved wrong and he said South Africa would be a bigger success than Germany.

"The market has not been mistaken, it's the prophets who have made a mistake," Blatter said.

"The 2010 World Cup, with most of the contracts that we have reached with television and sponsors, will bring in more money than that of 2006.

"That means that football is an excellent product, and that the Fifa World Cup is even bigger because it has a bigger audience than the Olympic Games."

"Everyone wants to be there, and for me the most important thing is that it means people have confidence in Africa."

"The whole world will be behind this World Cup."

Blatter said that extra money would be available for football development programmes in Africa, including an initiative to enable young talented players to have a career on their own continent, rather than move to Europe.

"Obviously, you'll still need a few stars elsewhere in the world, but not the hundreds and thousands who play in the second or third divisions in other countries," the Fifa chief said.


SEE ALSO
Blatter dismisses SA concerns
22 Nov 05 |  African
Fifa upbeat on SA 2010
22 Oct 05 |  African


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