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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 October 2007, 14:38 GMT
Brazil will stage 2014 World Cup
Former Brazil star Romario, Brazil coach Dunga, and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Zurich
Romario, Dunga and Brazilian President Lula with the World Cup
Brazil has been named as the host nation for the 2014 football World Cup.

The South American country was the only one bidding to host the tournament, which was due to be staged on the continent under Fifa's rotation system.

Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said: "Soccer is more than a sport for us, it's a national passion."

Brazil have won the tournament a record five times and hosted the World Cup once before, in 1950, when they lost 2-1 in the final to Uruguay.

606: DEBATE

It is the first time the World Cup is being held in South America since Argentina hosted, and won, the 1978 tournament.

Brazil is setting aside around £550m to update its stadiums, including the Maracană in Rio de Janeiro which hosted the 1950 World Cup final.

And that money will need to be spent wisely as Fifa's inspection report has identified 18 grounds with more than 40,000 capacity that could host games. These will be whittled down to nine or 10.

However, of the 18, four would have to be re-built from scratch and all of the others need to undergo substantial renovation.

This World Cup will have such a big social and cultural impact in Brazil

Fifa president Sepp Blatter

So basic are the facilities at the moment that most of the stadia are not even equipped for television commentary.

Fifa president Blatter said, however, that he had been impressed by Brazil's plans for 2014 despite the fact they were the only bidders.

"The task was not easy - for us it was a real big challenge to have the same list of requirements and the same conditions for only one candidate," he said.

"There was an extraordinary presentation by the delegation and we witnessed that this World Cup will have such a big social and cultural impact in Brazil.

Brazilian children celebrate at the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro
Brazilians celebrate at the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio
"This is the country that has given to the world the best football and the best footballers, and they are five times world champions."

Fifa's inspection report added: "Brazil has a rich history of hosting sporting and other international events.

"But the standards and demands of the World Cup will far surpass those of any other event staged in the history of Brazil in terms of magnitude and complexity.

"The inspection team wants Fifa experts to review the process and progress of host city selection to ensure that adequate financing is committed and secured."

As news filtered through, celebrations broke out in various towns around the country with fireworks and festivities set to continue into the night.

Around 100 people unfurled a green and yellow banner, emblazoned with the words 'The 2014 World Cup is ours', at the foot of the famous Christ the Redeemer statue which overlooks Rio.

Meanwhile, women's world champions Germany will host the 2011 Women's World Cup after beating off competition from Canada.

SEE ALSO
Tim Vickery column
30 Oct 07 |  Internationals
England rivals plan 2018 Cup bids
30 Oct 07 |  Football
Fifa abandons World Cup rotation
29 Oct 07 |  Football
Fifa welcomes England 2018 bid
25 Oct 07 |  Football
Brazil wants 2014 World Cup
31 Jul 07 |  Football
Brazil set to host 2014 World Cup
13 Apr 07 |  Internationals
Fifa sets World Cup schedule
06 Dec 06 |  Football


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