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Last Updated: Monday, 30 April 2007, 08:41 GMT 09:41 UK
Fifa makes 2010 Cup back-up plan
Fifa president Sepp Blatter
Blatter will appear on BBC One's new Inside Sport programme on Monday
Football's governing body has contingency plans in case South Africa cannot host the World Cup in 2010, Fifa president Sepp Blatter has said.

South Africa's preparations have been dogged by delays and there are fears its stadia will not be ready.

Blatter told BBC One's new Inside Sport programme: "Other countries are ready to organise the World Cup", although he said they would not be needed.

Blatter cited a list of countries that could step in, including England.

606: DEBATE

The others he mentioned were the United States, Mexico, Japan and Spain.

"Definitely we have a possibility to go somewhere else if something happens," said Blatter.

Construction workers near the King Senzangakhona stadium in Durban, South Africa
South Africa is refurbishing or building 10 stadia for the World Cup

"It was the same case in Germany. Something can happen. A natural catastrophe or whatever, a big change in society - everybody against football.

"But then for the time being the plan B is South Africa and the plan C we definitely must have a possibility to go somewhere else, but it must be a natural catastrophe."

Last year, Blatter expressed misgivings about the lack of construction and renovation work on the 10 South African stadiums that are scheduled to host games in the World Cup.

And in December South African President Thabo Mbeki rejected claims that the tournament could be held elsewhere, insisting the 2010 World Cup would be an "exceptional event".

The Football Association said they had not been involved with any plans for the tournament to move to England.

"There have been no discussions with Fifa at this stage," a spokesman told BBC Sport.

"We do believe we have some of the finest stadia and football infrastructure in the world but it's hypothetical as we understand South Africa are on course to stage the 2010 World Cup."

Blatter reiterated his view that the 2018 World Cup should go to Asia rather than Europe - the English FA is considering making a bid for the event.

"I think we should maintain this rotation - at least with four continents. To take North and South America as one continent, Europe, Africa and Asia," he said.

"This would mean that the next World Cup after 2014 would go to Asia."

And he gave his strongest backing yet to new Uefa president Michel Platini being his successor.

"This is absolutely a possibility. There are other candidates, but I think this is a possibility," Blatter said.

"Because he now has a career as a footballer, he was co-president of the organising committee of the 1998 World Cup, he is a vice-president of French Football, he is on the executive of Fifa and Uefa, and now president of Uefa. I think it is something which has a certain logic going forward."

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