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FIFA President In Tashkent After Women's U-20 World Cup U-Turn

  • RFE/RL's Uzbek Service

FIFA President Sepp Blatter

FIFA President Sepp Blatter

TASHKENT – The president of the world football federation FIFA has arrived in Tashkent for talks with Uzbekistan's leadership about the future of football in the Central Asian country.

The visit by FIFA chief Sepp Blatter comes after federation in December stripped Uzbekistan of the right to host the 2012 Women's Under-20 World Cup, citing unspecified "problems" with Tashkent's bid.

It was not made public whether Uzbekistan's human rights record -- regularly denounced as appalling by international rights groups -- had anything to do with the decision.

FIFA subsequently announced that Japan will host the championship in August and September.

A spokesman for the Uzbek Football Federation said Blatter was expected to meet on May 16 with President Islam Karimov and Uzbek football officials, and take part in celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of football in Uzbekistan.

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