Brazil's Lula leads World Cup celebrations

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ZURICH, Oct 30 (Reuters) Although the outcome had been known for months, Brazil's delegation at FIFA house were still thrilled when their country was named as the 2014 World Cup hosts today.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva led the celebrations when he told delegates: ''I would just like to say how happy I am to see Brazil's name showing up on that card.

''The fact Brazil has been chosen to host the World Cup in 2014 is a reason for us to have a great party and to be very happy.

''But we go back to Brazil knowing we have on our shoulders much more responsibility than when we arrived here.

''It is a huge task. But I would say that if Brazil could organise a World Cup in 1950 when I was four-and-a-half years old, what it can do when I reach 69 years of age.'' Looking at Michel Platini, the former French skipper who scored against Brazil in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final and is now the president of UEFA, Lula said: ''We cried Platini when you scored that penalty goal against us. The nation cried but we also laughed when Romario scored and Dunga lifted the cup.

Ricardo Teixera, the president of the Brazilian FA (CBF) reacted angrily when asked about crime levels in his country.

''I believe that the violence issue today is an international issue. We had a recent good example during the Pan-American games in Rio -- there was no violent event there.

''If you go to major cities in the US you see kids killing other kids in schools, at least we don't have that.'' FIFA president Sepp Blatter also angrily reacted to the question, storming back to the podium and saying: ''When we gave the World Cup to South Africa, the first question was about criminality.

''Now we have given it to Brazil and you start with the same questions, please observe a little bit of respect to our institution, the House of Football and our guests here.'' Although Brazil sent an official 27-man delegation to FIFA, former Brazil soccer great Pele was not amongst them.

Teixera said he had no idea were he was, adding that Dunga and Romario were in the delegation, representing the teams that Brazil had fielded since he became president of the Brazilian FA.

''I don't know where he is but we invited two players here that represent the great generation of players during my presidency.'' REUTERS RJ BD2245

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