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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
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By ESPN Staff

Colombia determined in 2014 World Cup bid

BOGOTA, July 21 (Reuters) - The Colombian government said on Friday it was determined in its bid to host the 2014 World Cup after vice-president Fernando Santos met with South American Football Confederation (CSF) president Nicolas Leoz.

Leoz, however, remained cautious, adding that the federations of the 10 South American nations had already agreed to back Brazil.

South America is due to host the tournament under FIFA's rotation system which continues in South Africa in 2010. The South American federations backed Brazil as their only candidate in 2003.

Colombia president Alvaro Uribe, in a surprise announcement last Saturday, said Colombia wanted to enter the race.

'It's not going to be easy but there are possibilities and we're going to do everything we can,' Santos told reporters.

'I believe we need to work on every front so that we can compete and create some competition,' he said. 'Competition is healthy.'

Leoz said: 'It's not up to me to say that they can or can't do it, the important thing is to have the dream. Sometimes it stays a dream, sometimes it becomes reality.'

'We have to see if Brazil continues with its position and if there is backing from the Brazilian government,' he added.

FIFA will choose the 2014 hosts in 2008.

Colombia was awarded the 1986 World Cup but pulled out for financial reasons and the tournament was instead held in Mexico.

Argentina were the last South American nation to host the event in 1978 and Brazil staged the event in 1950.