Friday, November 2, 2007

World Cup 2014 BRASIL!

ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) - The country with the most World Cup titles will finally get another chance to win one at home.

Brazil, which has won a record five World Cups, was awarded the right to host 2014 tournament Tuesday by FIFA's executive committee. The South American country hosted the competition once before, losing to Uruguay in the 1950 final.
The unanimous vote came on the same day the 2011 Women's World Cup was awarded to Germany. Germany, the host of the 2006 men's World Cup, beat out Canada.

"We want to be good hosts again," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said during a visit to India.

Brazil was the only candidate for the 2014 World Cup because the rotation system meant it had to be played in South America. Colombia had said it would bid, but pulled out in April.

"If you think the task of FIFA was made easier because Brazil was the only candidate, it's not true," FIFA president Sepp Blatter said. "For us it was a real challenge to have the same list of requirements, the same recommendations and conditions for only one candidate, than we had two. Perhaps we put the bar higher than if there had been two."

After announcing Brazil as the 2014 host, Blatter handed the World Cup trophy to Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who flew in for the event.

"Soccer is not only a sport for us. It's more than that," Silva said. "Soccer for us is a passion, a national passion."

He added: "If everything works out well, we will win once again a World Cup."

In Brazil, 50 mountain climbers hung an enormous national team jersey bearing the slogan "The 2014 World Cup is Ours" from majestic Sugar Loaf mountain in Rio de Janeiro. At the Maracana Stadium, workers spread jerseys across the field reading, "The new Maracana is ours and so is the 2014 World Cup."

"We are a civilized nation, a nation that is going through an excellent phase," Brazilian Football Confederation president Ricardo Teixeira said. "And we have got everything prepared to receive adequately the honor to organize an excellent World Cup."

Brazilian Sports Minister Orlando Silva, national team coach Dunga and veteran striker Romario were among those that also made the trip.

Since launching its bid, Brazil stressed that a World Cup will extend far beyond sports.

"Over the next few years we will have a consistent influx of investments. The 2014 World Cup will enable Brazil to have a modern infrastructure," Teixeira said. "In social terms will be very beneficial."

Tuesday's presentation was smoother than the one in July, which was laden with statistics and underlined Brazil's status as a developing nation with repeated images of its car factories.

Blatter had recently questioned Brazil's infrastructure and bid plans, but FIFA said last week that a stadium-inspection trip in August showed the country could put on an "exceptional" tournament.