Rio de Janeiro, Jan 21 (IANS) Chile president Sebastian Pinera has dismissed suggestions that the country is set to lose its status as chief host of the 2014 Dakar Rally.
The 2013 event, which included stages in Peru, Argentina and Chile, ended Saturday with France's Stephane Peterhansel and Cyril Despres defending their respective car and bike titles, reports Xinhua.
"I want to guarantee that next year we will have the Dakar Rally here in this country," Pinera said Sunday.
His comments follow local media reports that Colombia, Paraguay, Uruguay or Ecuador could replace Chile as the event's major organiser and host.
Sunday's trophy presentation ceremony attracted thousands of fans who surrounded the La Moneda presidential palace in the centre of Chile's capital Santiago.
"We are very proud to have organised one of the best Dakar Rallies in history with the largest number of competitors ever."
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