Brazil's World Cup place in jeopardy

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The Independent Online

Sepp Blatter, the Fifa president, has hinted that Brazil could be kicked out of the 2002 World Cup.

Sepp Blatter, the Fifa president, has hinted that Brazil could be kicked out of the 2002 World Cup.

Blatter, the head of the game's world ruling body, said Brazil, the only country to have taken part in every World Cup finals, faced suspension from international football and the World Cup because of political interference in the crisis-hit domestic game. "If we consider there has been outside control of football, the situation is clear: Brazil will be suspended from all international activities," he said.

The Brazilian congress has this month launched two inquiries to investigate the country's football, in crisis with allegations of corruption by Wanderley Luxemburgo, the former national coach, clubs in serious financial difficulties and an exodus of top players abroad.

"In practice, Brazil will not take part in the 2002 World Cup," Blatter said. "In addition, we will not allow the transfer of Brazilian players abroad." He insisted his threat was not idle.

Another troubled team are Milan, who could be in trouble with Uefa, the game's European ruling body, over newspaper suggestions that their Brazilian keeper Nelson Dida was ineligible to play against Leeds United and Besiktas in Champions' League games.

It is claimed Dida was registered on a false Portuguese passport in July.

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