VIENNA (AFP) — FIFA President Sepp Blatter admits he has a Plan B organised should South Africa be unable to host the 2010 World Cup - but it will only be used if a disaster makes holding the tournament impossible there.
Blatter gave a press conference before Sunday's Euro 2008 final between Germany and Spain here at Vienna's Ernst Happel Stadium and said the tournament would only be taken away from South Africa in dire circumstances.
"I would be quite negligent as president if I did not have a Plan B tucked away at the back of a drawer," said Blatter.
"But only a natural disaster would make it active," he added pushing aside doubts over security and possible delays over construction of the stadiums.
Safety is a major concern for the tournament in South Africa where there are dozens of murders every day.
And a recent wave of violence against foreigners there has done nothing to ease fears.
FIFA will give 150,000 free World Cup tickets to South African football fans, with unemployment running at 40 percent and the average wage is 700 euros per month.
But next year's Confederations Cup, from June 14-28 2009, will be a big test for South Africa in the traditional warm-up before the World Cup is held there a year later.
"If we had to activate the Plan B, we would do it after the Confederations Cup," said Blatter.
He added the cup will be used by FIFA to test the idea of using six officials at each the game, including a referee assigned to each penalty area to help control the game.
"It would be interesting on a psychological level, because the players would know they are being observed in the penalty area," said Blatter.
"We will test this idea next year."
But Blatter batted off any suggestions of a video referee to give his verdict on key situations in a game, or the idea of having a micro-chip to confirm whether a goal had been scored, saying the ideas had been "suspended".
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