2014 cities announced

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FIFA has announced the 12 cities that will play host to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

World football's governing body FIFA president Sepp Blatter has announced that Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Manaus, Fortaleza, Natal, Recife, Salvador, Brasilia, Cuiaba, Belo Horizonte, Curitiba and Porto Alegre will be the 12 cities to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The decision by the executive committee of world football's governing body was made in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas on Sunday, 31 May, and five candidates were left out of the event–Florianopolis, Goiania, Campo Grande, Belem and Rio Branco. FIFA changed tack on its host city policy for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in January 2009 with president Sepp Blatter stating that Brazil could now stage the tournament in 12 cities rather than 10. FIFA had initially wanted the World Cup to be staged in 10 cities as it was believed that having fewer stadia would lessen the chance of logistical problems. For example, South Africa's staging of the 2010 FIFA World Cup will see games played in 10 stadia across nine cities, but Blatter stated that the immense interest in the tournament in Brazil led to FIFA's decision to add further host cities. "In the very beginning, 10 cities were going to be chosen, but thanks to the influence of (Brazilian Football Confederation president) Ricardo Teixeira and the interest of the whole country, we agreed to increasing the number to 12, " said Blatter on Sunday 31 May 2009. " The interest in Brazil was huge, and it was a very difficult decision to choose just 12 venues from the initial list of 17. We want to make this World Cup a sporting success and this is the most important thing. " Blatter stated that FIFA would do its utmost to incorporate the five unlucky cities in the 2014 World Cup planning through the likes of 'fan fests', which proved a huge success at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. The 2014 global showpiece will be the first time the FIFA World Cup finals have returned to Brazil since 1950, when Uruguay edged the host nation to its second world title. Teixeira added: " There are no winning and losing cities here in Brazil. We are all taking part in the World Cup here in Brazil and we can all be proud. For the 12 privileged cities chosen, it's the beginning of the work. They have a huge responsibility. " In other news from the Executive Committee meeting, it was decided that a high–ranking FIFA delegation will meet Nigerian Vice–President Dr Jonathan Goodluck in Lagos on 11 June 2009 to request binding government guarantees that Nigeria will fulfil all requirements for hosting the Under–17 World Cup. If these guarantees are given, the six venues will be Abuja, Calabar, Enugu, Ijebu–Ode, Kano and Lagos. Should the guarantees not be issued, FIFA will withdraw the organisation of this tournament from Nigeria and an alternative host nation would be found. FIFA also announced that matches in the Europa League – formerly the UEFA Cup – next season will be played with two extra assistant referees behind the goal–lines as part of an experiment. The idea was the brainchild of UEFA president Michel Platini and he has been championing the scheme as an alternative to goal–line technology. It was tested last year in some European Under–19 championship games. Blatter also announced that the World Anti–Doping Agency (WADA) had declared FIFA compliant with the world anti–doping code in all areas apart from one which concerns drug–testing of injured players, whilst the Ethiopian and Kuwaiti football federations have had their suspensions conditionally lifted. About The Sport Briefing This story has been reproduced with the kind permission of The Sport Briefing. The Sport Briefing is published by PA Sport and can be found at: www. thesportbriefing. comThe Sport Briefing is updated as and when news happens, from across the global business of sport. The industry's biggest stories have an accompanying email alert, and The Sport Briefing sends subscribers a daily digest to give them an easy–to–read overview of the day's main events. Contact rory. squires@thesportbriefing. com for more information.

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