BLATTER HEDGES WORLD CUP BETS

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has spoken to three countries about hosting the 2010 World Cup if a natural catastrophe forces it away from South Africa.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has spoken to three countries about hosting the 2010 World Cup if a natural catastrophe forces it away from South Africa.

It forms the Plan B drawn up by Fifa with less than two years until football's showpiece tournament heads to Africa for the first time.

Concerns are mounting about South Africa fulfilling its hosting obligations after Tuesday's announcement that the Port Elizabeth stadium is unlikely to be completed in time for next June's Confederations Cup tune-up event.

The World Cup preparations have been plagued by stadium construction delays, security fears, transport problems and the possibility of power outages.

"I have spoken to three possible, not only possible, but three associations and countries that would be able to stage the World Cup in one year's time," Blatter said in an interview broadcast yesterday by Sky News.

"They need one year [to prepare]."

Blatter would not name the countries. - Sapa-AP

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