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By ESPN Staff

Brazil's long wait to host World Cup finally ends

Brazil were today formally appointed hosts of the 2014 World Cup and now face the daunting task of building or completely refurbishing every single one of their stadia for the tournament.

FIFA's inspection report has identified 18 grounds with more than 40,000 capacity that could host matches and these will be whittled down to nine or 10.

However, of the 18 four would have to be built from scratch and all of the other 14 undergo substantial renovation.

FIFA inspectors said the Brazilian football federation had estimated £550million (1.1billion US dollars) as the budget for building and renewing the grounds but that figure appears very optimistic.

So basic are the facilities at the moment that most of the stadia are not even equipped for television commentary.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said however that he had been impressed by Brazil's plans for 2014 despite the fact they were the only bidders.

He also said hosting the World Cup could encourage more Brazilian players to stay in their own domestic football.

Blatter said: 'The task was not easy - for us it was a real big challenge to have the same list of requirements and the same conditions for only one candidate than if we had two and perhaps we put the bar higher than if we had two.

'There was an extraordinary presentation by the delegation and we witnessed that this World Cup will have such a big social and cultural impact in Brazil.

'This the country that has given to the world the best football and the best footballers, five times world champions, and if we don't stop the invasion of Brazilian footballers then in years to come we may have only Brazilians in all the national teams!

'That's why the executive committee has decided unananimously to give the right and the responsibility to organise the 2014 World Cup to Brazil.'

FIFA's inspection report said Brazil was 'more than capable of hosting an exceptional FIFA World Cup' but added: 'surprisingly, most of the stadiums are not equipped for TV commentators. In fact, many of them will use TV commentary positions for the first time thanks to the projects and the necessary FIFA requirements for staging a World Cup.'

The inspectors said FIFA must maintain close links with the Brazilian organisers - and start immediately.

The report adds: 'Brazil has a rich history of hosting sporting and other international events, but the standards and demands of the FIFA World Cup will far surpass those of any other event staged in the history of Brazil in terms of magnitude and complexity.

'The inspection team is of the opinion that it would be important for FIFA experts to carefully review the process and progress of host city selection to ensure that adequate financing is committed and secured by the time of the deadline for the selection of the host cities and the related stadium facilities or potential stadium construction sites.'