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World Cup chief urges Belgium to keep grand prix

The fact Belgium did not win its bid for the 2018 World Cup could be a blessing in disguise for fans of the historic F1 race at Spa-Francorchamps.

Spa’s grand prix contract expires in 2012, and it has been suggested that Bernie Ecclestone might drop one or two of the less lucrative European races to make way for new hosts.

Alain Courtois, a Belgian politician who was the front-man for the failed Benelux World Cup bid, thinks the region should now ensure that it does not lose its highest profile event.

“I think we need to be careful, because one of the conclusions to be drawn is that the sports world is heading towards southeast Asia and all these emerging countries,” he told RTBF television.

“So, we are not going to have the World Cup.  Our other world event, the only one, is the formula one grand prix,” Courtois insisted.

“We need to try at least to keep this because you hear ‘it costs so much’.  But the key is to position Belgium.  We have a country that is dynamic, that is efficient, that has successful companies.  We also need to have an image to the world.

“It (having the World Cup) was now or never.  Let’s now continue with what we have, because it is not bad,” he insisted.

 © RIF | GMM