S Africa would host 2010 football World Cup, says Blatter

TOKYO: FIFA President Sepp Blatter insisted there was no way the 2010 World Cup would be moved from South Africa, saying any ''plan B'' was now firmly dead and buried.

Rumours have persisted that the tournament could be pulled from South Africa if it failed to meet organisational deadlines after Blatter admitted earlier this year that FIFA had contingency plans.

But he moved to reassure everyone involved that South Africa would host the event.

"There definitely is no plan B or C. The only plan is to make the South African event a success," he said at a press conference here alongside Danny Jordaan, the head of the 2010 organising committee.

"If there are still doubters, let me say that the 2010 World Cup will be organised in South Africa," he added from Japan, where he is attending the Club World Cup.

South Africa will become the first African nation to host football''s four-year showpiece event, with FIFA now confident that all necessary facilities will be ready in time.

There had been concern that the 10 World Cup stadiums five new, five upgraded would not be finished, while the country''s crime rate, where 50 murders happen every day, was also a worry.