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Blatter presents Italy with world cup badge

Article Published: Tuesday 2 September 2008

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2010 Football World cup squads

FIFA president Sepp Blatter was at Italy's training camp Tuesday to present the team with a special badge to wear on their jerseys for winning the World Cup.

The golden patch features a miniature image of the World Cup with FIFA and 2006 stamped on it. Italy will wear the badge until the 2010 tournament in South Africa, after which the next winner will have the honor.

Italy opens qualifying for the 2010 World Cup at Cyprus on Saturday, then hosts Georgia four days later.

"The chance to relive another night like that one in Berlin starts with these games," Italy coach Marcello Lippi said. "Wearing the title of World Cup champions on our jerseys should remind us how to do it."

While he was in town, Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro took advantage of the opportunity to offer Blatter the chance to finally present him with the actual World Cup trophy.

After Italy beat France on penalties in the 2006 final in Berlin, Blatter left the trophy presentation to UEFA president Lennart Johansson. The move sparked controversy in Italy, with Blatter saying he wanted to avoid the reaction of German fans, who were angry at FIFA.

"President Blatter, let's end this controversy once and for all," Cannavaro said. "I ask you to present me here with the World Cup." Blatter accepted and handed the trophy to Cannavaro.

"It's never too late to make good," Blatter said.

:Sapa-AP




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