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Blatter rules out 2010 Cup switch

Fifa president Sepp Blatter
It has been an ambition of Blatter to have a World Cup in Africa

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has said there is no way the 2010 World Cup will be moved from South Africa.

Earlier this year Blatter admitted football's world governing body did have contingency plans for the event leading to rumours it could be moved.

But he has now said: "There definitely is no plan B or C, the only plan is to make the South African event a success.

"If there are still doubters, let me say that the 2010 World Cup will be organised in South Africa."

South Africa will become the first African nation to host the World Cup, with Fifa now confident that all necessary facilities will be ready in time.

There had been concerns that the 10 World Cup stadiums would not be finished on the schedule, while the country's crime rate had also been a cause of concern.

But Danny Jordaan, the head of the Local Organising Committee, has tried to allay fears over security.

"Security for any major event is the most important aspect," he said.

"But we have had 11 major events in the last 14 years and not a single incident.

"The fact is that the most peaceful time in Africa is before, during and after football matches."

South Africa will deploy 41,000 police officers specifically for the World Cup, all of whom will be sent for specialised training in crowd control.

Blatter is confident all the issues are being dealt with - and added it would fulfil a lifelong ambition of his to see the tournament held in Africa.

"Football is the most popular game in the world and in 2010 Africa will show that it is able to host a World Cup," he said.

"I'll be proud because it is my baby."

The Confederations Cup in June next year will be a key test of how ready South Africa is to host the World Cup.

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see also
Downturn threat to SA World Cup
21 Nov 08 |  Business
SA 2010 could cost $3.7 billion
18 Mar 08 |  African

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