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Brazil not guaranteed to host 2014 World Cup - Blatter

Written by: Staff

RIO DE JANEIRO, Apr 13 (Reuters) Brazil still has a long way to go before it can host the 2014 World Cup, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said in an interview today.

He also told the Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper that the country does not currently have a single stadium up to World Cup standards.

South America is due to stage the 2014 tournament under the new system, beginning in 2010, in which FIFA rotates the tournament between continents.

The 10 South American federations have already decided to back Brazil as their only candidate.

But Blatter said that did not necessarily mean that the tournament would be in Brazil, which previously staged a World Cup in 1950.

''There's still a long way to go before Brazil can host a World Cup,'' said Blatter.

''Today, it's just an idea which, with the support of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has started to become a sort of project.

But there's a long way to go before winning the approval of the FIFA Congress in 2008.'' ''For the time being, I don't think Brazil has a stadium for the Cup,'' added Blatter, who said he had visited stadiums in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Porto Alegre.

Blatter suggested that other countries could launch joint-bids.

''We know the South American federations have already said that there will be only one candidate and that candidate will be Brazil,'' he said.

''But why not have a joint bid between Argentina and Chile? The problem is that, even being the only candidate, Brazil has to reach the standards, which are of a very high level.

''The Cup will only be in Brazil if they are reached.'' REUTERS PG BD0037

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