Fifa plays down trend of joint hosts

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Fifa, world football's governing body, has played down any trend towards co-hosting of the World Cup after the awarding of the 2002 tournament jointly to Japan and South Korea.

Sepp Blatter, Fifa's general secretary, said only one country per continent should put their name forward in future to organise the tournament. "That way the competition will not become so wound up as it has been between the historic rivals Japan and South Korea," he said. Friday's decision guaranteed both countries would automatically qualify for the finals.

Asked if the decision was a personal victory for Sweden's Lennart Johansson, the president of the European governing body Uefa, who campaigned to get co-hosting accepted, Blatter said: "Let's say the Europeans wanted World Cup peace between Japan and South Korea."

Aston Villa's Alan Wright, has signed a new four-year contract, believed to be worth around pounds 1m, with the Coca-Cola Cup holders. The 5ft 4in full- back joined Villa 18 months ago for pounds 900,000 from Blackburn.

Gianluca Vialli, playing what could be his last game for Juventus before his move to Chelsea, scored in a 2-1 win over Vietnam's national team of amateurs in Hanoi yesterday.

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