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By NBF News
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World Cup in South Africa has helped FIFA's revenues past the billion dollar mark for the first time, world football's governing body said. “We are very confident, not only confident but very proud, that we can deliver the World Cup to Africa and that Africa can deliver the World Cup to the world,” Blatter said after a two- day FIFA's executive committee meeting.

FIFA, a non profit-making organisation, said it had made a 196 million dollar surplus in 2009, as revenues soared to 1.06 billion dollars.

“For the first time out, turnover in one year has been more than one billion dollars,” Blatter told journalists. “The market trusts South Africa,” he added, referring to lucrative television and marketing deals in the years running up to the first ever finals to be staged in Africa, which kick off on June 11.

“What'll be little more expensive is the organisation, but it's worth it,” said Blatter.

Officials said the growing revenues were largely due to strong sales of commercial rights despite the recession. “Overall, the results show that organising the World Cup in South Africa was a good decision,” financial chief, Markus Kattner, insisted.

However, ticket sales have lagged behind the pace seen in recent World Cups and struggled through the global recession. FIFA was also criticised for its emphasis on sales through the Internet, when many South Africans don't have direct access to the web. The governing body said Friday it would sell more cheap tickets from April 15 in South Africa through mobile ticket offices around the country.

“I suppose everybody should be worried about the ticket sales when they are not sold at the rate they expected,” Sports Minister, Makhenkesi Stofile, told journalists in South Africa on Friday.

But Stofile added that he was confident stadia would be full by June. FIFA's Secretary General, Jerome Valcke, said in Zurich: “We are more or less today at 75 percent of sales of World Cup tickets.”

About a month ago, two-thirds of three million tickets were reportedly sold.

Valcke revealed that marketing for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil had got off to an “amazing” start four years before the event.