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U.S. Included in FIFA's 2010 Backup Plan
Associated Press, April 30th, 2007 4:01PM



In light of media speculation surrounding the poor state of World Cup preparations in South Africa, FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who has repeatedly backed the African country to host the finals for the first time in the continent's history, admitted that FIFA has a backup plan. The United States is included in the organization's contingency plan, along with Japan, Spain, and Mexico, countries which he says have the existing infrastructure to step in and host the 2010 tournament should the need arise. In 1983, Mexico was chosen to host the 1986 World Cup after Colombia pulled out due to financial reasons.

Nevertheless, Blatter insisted that South Africa would host the tournament, barring some kind of disaster: "It was the same case in Germany. Something can happen: a natural catastrophe or whatever, a big change in society -- everybody against football..." But then for the time being the plan B is South Africa, and the plan C we definitely must have a possibility to go somewhere else, but it must be a natural catastrophe." When asked, Blatter said that England and Australia were also possibilities, but he added, "there are other countries that are ready to organize tomorrow morning or in two days, or two months, a World Cup ... You say England can do it, and I am sure. Spain, they can do it. There is a lot of countries, but they don't need to be ready."

FIFA chose South Africa to host the 2010 tournament in 2004. Several reports in the media have expressed concern over the current state of venue construction, security and other issues.

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