Sat Oct 22 14:05:01 SAST 2016

US may miss out if Fifa ditches system

By unknown | Jun 26, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

CHICAGO - The World Cup's growth in popularity could cost the United States.

CHICAGO - The World Cup's growth in popularity could cost the United States.

Fifa's executive committee still hasn't decided if it will stay with regional rotation of World Cup sites past 2014. The North and Central American and Caribbean region is due to get the World Cup in 2018 under the current system, and the United States plans to bid.

But the World Cup has become such a big event - in fan interest, television ratings and ticket sales - that it no longer matters where it's played, Fifa president Sepp Blatter said on Sunday.

"Now the executive committee is confronted with the question: What will happen next?" Blatter said before the Gold Cup final. "If we go on with the rotation as it is, then the next one should go to the CONCACAF. On the other hand, you have people asking that every third time, the World Cup should come back to Europe. Why?

"We have realised it's not important where the World Cup is played concerning the impact of the World Cup," he said. "The product nowadays, for emotion, for passion, for bringing people together is such ... that it is not so important where you play."

The World Cup will be played in South Africa in 2010. Brazil is the sole candidate to host in 2014, and Fifa's executive committee is scheduled to vote in November.

Blatter also said that while South Africa needs to improve its transportation system, he was confident the country can put on a successful World Cup. - Sapa-AP


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