Reuters, Thursday, January 29, 2009 2:15 PM
FIFA President Sepp Blatter
said Wednesday that it will allow Brazil to stage the 2014 World Cup in 12 cities rather than 10. Soccer's world governing body
had initially said it wanted the tournament staged in 10 cities to minimize logistical problems.
"This country is not a country, it's a sub-continent, five-times world champions,
and we are going to divide the Cup in 12 different cities," Blatter told reporters after a meeting with Sao Paulo State Governor Jose Serra
. Serra said he
thinks the opening match will be held in Sao Paulo and the final in Rio de Janeiro. "I'm virtually certain that this will happen," he said.
Seventeen Brazilian cities are competing
to stage games, and a FIFA committee will begin a one-week tour of them Friday. The candidates are Porto Alegre, Florianopolis, Curitiba, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Goiania, Campo
Grande, Cuiaba, Rio Branco, Manaus, Belem, Salvador, Recife, Natal, Fortaleza and Sao Paulo.
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