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New coach Parreira left in the dark
South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira was left powerless on his first day.
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2007 12:58 GMT

Alberto Carlos Parreira, new South Africa football coach, arrives at OR Thambo Airport [EPA] 

Carlos Alberto Parreira, South Africa's new football coach, had a shaky start to his new appointment when told to stay home due to power cuts on his first day of work, an official said Tuesday.
Parreira, who coached Brazil to World Cup glory in 1994, has been hired by the South African Football Association (SAFA) to turn the national side into championship material ahead of the 2010 World Cup to be hosted in South Africa.

The Brazilian, hired on a four-year, $252,000 monthly salary, could not work at the SAFA office near the sprawling Soweto township due to power outages on Tuesday.

"It's an old office at the Soccer City Stadium that we have been using," SAFA chief executive Raymond Hack told AFP.

"There are renovation works going on there and I guess it affected electricity supply.

"I had to call him to stay at home," added Hack.

"He is not confined to coming to the office every morning... he is not an administrator who has to sit behind the computer from nine to five, but a national soccer team coach."

Hack and his SAFA staff are expected to move into the newly-constructed $11 million SAFA House on Thursday, located near the Soccer City stadium which will host the opening match and the final of the 2010 World Cup.

The building will also become the headquarters of Fifa delegates and the local organising committee during the tournament.

Crime out of control

South African President Thabo Mbeki at the
2010 World Cup Kick Off Workshop [EPA]

Meanwhile, an SMS poll on a popular South African television talkshow drew a record response with some 400,000 people saying crime was spiraling out of control ahead of the 2010 World Cup, a newspaper said Tuesday.

The poll was conducted after President Thabo Mbeki angered many by saying that most people in the country did not think that "crime is spinning out of control."

"About 400,000 SMSs were received by early yesterday evening... the most ever to take part in an SMS survey," said Beeld, the Afrikaans-language newspaper.

The original text message initially read: "If you think crime in South Africa is out of control SMS 'yes' to 33588."

However some people altered the message as it was sent around, adding tags such as "Please forward this to as many people as possible and prove Mbeki wrong! Stand up to crime."

The South African crime rate is among the highest in the world, with 18,528 murders reported in the country of 46 million over the 2005-06 financial year, according to national crime statistics.

The issue is highly sensitive among the South African public, and with violence and crime dominating newspapers every day, locals are hoping it can be curbed before they host the World Cup in 2010.

Source:
Agencies
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