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Others ready if Brazil blow bid

FIFA president Sepp Blatter warned Brazil yesterday that there were several other countries in line to host the 2014 World Cup if their bid was not up to scratch.

Brazil formally submitted a bid to FIFA for the 2014 finals last week, hoping to bring the tournament to the country for the first time since 1950.

The 2014 World Cup is scheduled to take place in South America as part of FIFA's rotation policy and Brazil's bid is expected to be the only one from the region.

But critics say only one Brazilian stadium, the Arena da Baixada in Curitiba, is in good enough condition to host a World Cup finals match.

There are also serious concerns over public safety and transport.

"There are so many countries on the starting blocks to organise a World Cup - both in that region and out of that region," Blatter told reporters.

"I'm sure Brazil are doing everything possible to get the 2014 World Cup. We have not yet heard from the other countries in South America to see if Brazil's is the only bid."

Blatter said last week that if a South American bid fell short of FIFA's requirements the 2014 tournament could be "moved north."

But the FIFA chief even floated the idea of taking the competition back to Asia in the event of a botched bid from South America.

"We have not yet decided the rotation of the World Cup after 2014," Blatter told reporters yesterday.

"Do we say America is one continent? Because CONCACAF are a FIFA confederation too. We could even go back to Asia - though Japan and South Korea hosted the 2002 World Cup."

FIFA will announce the host of the finals next November. The next World Cup will be in South Africa in 2010.

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