Brazil's long wait to host World Cup set to end

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Zurich, Oct 30: Brazil's long wait to stage the World Cup will end today 2000 hrs IST, when it is named the host nation for the 2014 finals.

Brazil is the only candidate to stage the world's largest and most lucrative single-sport tournament after its bid was approved by FIFA's technical delegation last week.

By the time the finals kickoff, 64 years will have passed since the South American country hosted the World Cup for the only other time.

Asked at a news conference whether anything could prevent the record five-times World Cup winners being named hosts, FIFA president Sepp Blatter replied: ''No, I don't know how that can happen. Brazil cannot be a loser because no one is fighting against them''.

The last time a sole bidder was awarded world soccer's richest prize was in July 1966 when the FIFA Congress gave the 1974 World Cup to West Germany, the 1978 finals to Argentina and the 1982 tournament to Spain.

''It was a totally different world then and the whole bidding process was nothing like today's,'' said FIFA executive committee member Chuck Blazer.

''Today we have a single bidder for very different reasons. I thoroughly support the Brazil bid but I think it could have been even better if it had competition.'' The reason it did not was because of FIFA's policy of rotating World Cups through its six continental confederations, a strategy that was ended on Monday.

More than 160 Brazilian delegation members and media are in Zurich for Tuesday's announcement including the President of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Reuters>

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