The Ivory Coast government confirms the country will bid to stage the 2010 World Cup.
Ivory Coast have joined the race to host the 2010 World Cup, according to the country’s Sports Minister.
Speaking exclusively to the BBC, Genevieve Grebe revealed that Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo had confirmed that the country wanted to organise both the 2006 African Nations Cup and the 2010 World Cup.
Gbagbo had presented his proposal during recent talks in Abidjan with Fifa boss Sepp Blatter and Caf president Issa Hayatou.
« The Ivory Coast is a great country and I believe that we are capable of organising these tournaments, » Grebe said.
« I hope that our bids will be successful. »
Grebe added that she plans to travel to the Far East this summer during the World Cup to launch the Ivorian campaign and to start lobbying influential figures in African and world Football.
The minister also revealed that a committee had already been formed to promote the bid.
Although the Ivorians enter the race as underdogs, Grebe said she believed that they had a realistic chance of bringing the World Cup to west Africa.
« We have the sports facilities and enough hotels. We are going to work on improving our roads.
« We can do it. »
Ivory Coast join South Africa, Swaziland, Egypt and Morocco in expressing interest in holding the tournament, which will be held in Africa for the first time.