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30.04.2007 Football News

FIFA MAKES 2010 CUP BACK-UP PLAN

By BBC

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has admitted football's governing body has contingency plans in case South Africa cannot host the World Cup in 2010.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 implied they would not be needed.
Blatter cited a list of countries that could step in, including England.

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.

"Something can happen. It is 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."

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 Mbkei 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 2012 World Cup."

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