Large Brazilian delegation to attend World Cup vote

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RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 29 (Reuters) Brazil president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and the governers of 11 states will be present in Switzerland tomorrow when FIFA decides whether to award the country the 2014 World Cup.

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) said on its Web site (http://cbfnews.uol.com.br) that the delegation would also include national team coach Dunga, former striker Romario and author Paulo Coelho.

However, there was no mention that Pele would be present and Brazilian media reported that UEFA president Michel Platini had expressed surprise at his absence.

The CBF said that Lula would arrive in Zurich in the early hours of tomorrow morning ahead of the vote.

It said the governers of the states of Bahia, Amazonas, Acre, Mato Grosso, Goias, Minas Gerais, Para, Pernambuco, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo states and the Federal District would also attend.

Eighteen states are bidding to stage games if Brazil is awarded the tournament.

''The 2014 World Cup will belong to all Brazilians,'' said CBF president Ricardo Teixeira.

''The presence in Zurich of ... governers and president Lula shows how seriously Brazil's candidacy is being taken.'' Brazil is the only country bidding to host the tournament, which is due to be staged in South American under FIFA's rotation system.

The football federations of the other nine South American nations agreed to back Brazil as their only candidate in 2003.

REUTERS PDS BD1912

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