Brazil unveil 2014 World Cup bid

ZURICH Tue Jul 31, 2007 3:56pm BST

Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (L) speaks to Sports Minister Orlando Silva (C) and the Brazilian Football Confederation's Ricardo Teixeira during a ceremony in which Lula da Silva signed a document that declares his government's backing of Brazil's candidacy to be host of the soccer World Cup in 2014, in Brasilia June 15, 2007. REUTERS/Jamil Bittar

Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (L) speaks to Sports Minister Orlando Silva (C) and the Brazilian Football Confederation's Ricardo Teixeira during a ceremony in which Lula da Silva signed a document that declares his government's backing of Brazil's candidacy to be host of the soccer World Cup in 2014, in Brasilia June 15, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Jamil Bittar

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ZURICH (Reuters) - The Brazilian football association (CBF) formally submitted its plans for staging the 2014 World Cup on Tuesday but kept the details close to its chest.

A Brazilian delegate, headed by CBF president Ricardo Teixeira, handed over a 900-page dossier at the headquarters of world football's governing body but declined to answer media questions on the size of the bid budget or any potential challenges it faced.

Brazil last staged the World Cup in 1950 and is the only country bidding to stage the 2014 version, having benefited from FIFA's decision to rotate the World Cup between different continents.

Colombia briefly launched a rival bid but withdrew in April.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has repeatedly warned however that Brazil must still meet the logistical and financial requirements of staging the tournament or risk the competition being opened up to nations from outside South America.

"For the time being Brazil has not yet been given the World Cup," Blatter said shortly ahead of Tuesday's formal handover.

"If something should happen to the Brazil bid, then we still have time to start again as we are a year in advance of the decision-making process for previous World Cups."

Blatter said that FIFA would begin inspections of all aspects of Brazil's bid at the end of August before taking its final decision on October 30 following a meeting of the organisation's executive committee.

Although boasting an incomparable pedigree on the pitch and a widespread passion for the game among its 188 million population, Brazil is set to face scrutiny over problems with the country's infrastructure and the ageing state of many of its stadiums.

"Not having a rival bid makes it even harder of us," bid director Rui Rodrigues said on Tuesday. "It means we will be measured purely against FIFA's strict requirements. But we will certainly live up to these standards."

In a brief media release put out before the handover, the bid team listed 18 candidate cities that wish to stage World Cup matches although they would not say though how many would be involved in the final plans.

Brazilian best-selling author Paulo Coelho, an official ambassador for the bid, came closest to addressing the challenges faced by Brazil.

"I saw The World Cup in Germany and how it changed the soul of the country," said Coelho. "In Brazil it will change the body and soul of my country, meaning that all the infrastructure we need will surely be put in place."

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