Germany awarded 2011 women's World Cup

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ZURICH, Oct 30 (Reuters) Germany have been named as the hosts of the 2011 women's World Cup, beating off a rival bid from Canada.

The decision was announced by FIFA president Sepp Blatter ollowing a meeting of the organisation's executive committee today.

Germany have won the last two women's World Cup finals.

Their winning bid comes just one year after the country hosted the 2006 men's World Cup and ends a 16-year wait for Europe to stage the women's version.

''We are very proud and grateful for this distinction of being able to organise the 2011 women's World Cup after hosting the 2006 World Cup,'' German football association president Theo Zwanziger said following the announcement.

''A lot of progress has already been made in women's football and we promise not of course to imitate the 2006 World Cup but to organise a World Cup characterised by respect and fair play.'' Using the motto ''Welcome back'', the German bid team relied heavily on their successful staging of the men's event in their final presentation to the executive committee.

Assisted by players Birgit Prinz and Fatmira Bajramaj, the bidders also emphasised the pedigree of the German national team.

The bid envisages the use of 12 stadiums, including the Berlin and Frankfurt grounds used in 2006.

German men's team coach Joachim Loew said on the DFB Web site (www.dfb.de): ''I'm convinced the World Cup in Germany will be a great party, just like in the summer of 2006.

''The good atmosphere across the nation will help the German team complete the hat-trick of world titles.'' RUETERS PDS ND2046

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