FIFA unveil 2014 Brazil World Cup venues

The announcement came after two days of FIFA executive committee meetings in the Caribbean.

As expected, five major cities will host games, including the capital Brasilia (Mane Garrincha stadium), Rio de Janeiro (Maracana), Sao Paulo (Morumbi), Belo Horizonte (Mineirao) and Porto Alegre (Beira-Rio).

Three cities where the stadia must be built were also selected: Natal (Estrela dos Reis Magos), Recife-Olinda (Arena Recife-Olinda) and Salvador (Arena da Bahia).

In the competition to represent the Amazon, which makes up 43 per cent of Brazil's territory, Manaus (Vivaldao) beat out Belem.

The other venue cities are Curitiba (Arena da Baixada), Cuiaba (Verdao) and Fortaleza (Castelao).

"There are no winning and losing cities here in Brazil," Brazilian Football Federation president Ricardo Terra Teixeira said yesterday. "For the 12 privileged cities chosen, it's the beginning of the work. They have a huge responsibility."

The 12 cities were chosen from 17 candidates, after inspections carried out in January and February and based on their accessibility, infrastructure and potential security arrangements.

Florianopolis, Goiania, Campo Grande, Belem and Rio Branco all missed out.

"It was a very difficult decision to choose just 12 venues from the initial list of 17," Blatter said. "We want to make this World Cup a sporting success and this is the most important thing."

FIFA had already agreed to have 12 venues rather than 10 because of the size of the country.

Rio's legendary Maracana hosted the final of the last World Cup held in Brazil, in 1950, when Uruguay defeated the hosts 2-1 for the title.

The venue cities: Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Cuiaba, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaus, Natal, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio De Janeiro, Salvador, Sao Paulo.

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