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GERMANY, SOUTH AFRICA FAVOURED FOR 2006 WORLD CUP BID.

Leaders of the rival England campaign, who said they had details of the report from FIFA sources, reacted furiously to the document which they said rated England’s bid as technically inferior to those of South Africa and Germany.
FIFA’s 24-man executive will decide in Zurich on Thursday where the 2006 World Cup should be staged. There are five candidates – Brazil, England, Germany, Morocco and South Africa.
A report in the London Times said a FIFA technical evaluation report following inspections of facilities, including stadiums, infrastructure, communications and security, ranked Germany and South Africa in the first category, England in the second and Brazil and Morocco in the third.
FIFA director of communications Keith Cooper confirmed the existence of the report but would give no details.
“A report has been circulated to executive committee members as a confidential document assessing the different candidates World Cup bids,” he said.
“It is an objective assessment before the vote is taken next week. Whether one candidate is placed higher than another in any way is only known to the committee menbers receiving the report.
“FIFA cannot comment if one of the candidates is unhappy about the contents of the report.”

The Football Association and England’s 2006 bid team said they were shocked at the report and questioned its impartiality.
“The report has certainly dented our chances, it doesn’t make life any easier,” an FA spokesman told Reuters.
“We were always aware a report would be produced but it is fair to say we were very surprised by what it had to say.
“The suggestion that we are less prepared than Germany and South Africa I think was very surprising on the basis that they haven’t even built many of the stadiums where as we have.
“We have already committed 760 million pounds to the Wembley project and no other country could offer a stadium that even comes close to it.”
The report adds to England’s bid woes after hooligan violence during the Euro 2000 tournament further tarnished England’s reputation in football.
The FA spokesman said the director of England’s bid, Alec McGivan, was shocked “and he has to question the impartiality of the report when it comes to conclusions like that”.
McGivan told the Times: “It is an insult to everyone involved in English football and FIFA should be ashamed.
“To place England in a lower division than Germany and South Africa is absurd.”
Reuters