Blatter tells SA to "fire up"

FIFA president Sepp Blatter will visit South Africa in a bid to encourage the country to speed up their preparations for the 2010 World Cup amid growing concern about delays.

    Still one team? Cracks are appearing in South Africa's plans

    Blatter plans to meet South African President Thabo Mbeki and the country's parliament to impress "the value of the World Cup and to fire up the organising committee, because it's the last moment to start building five stadiums.

    "For the moment they have plans, money, and decisions, but I have yet to see the pickaxes and spades needed to start the work," he told journalists.

    Blatter hoped that the work would get underway before the end of the year, and said the South Africans had to be trusted.

    In a move which flies in the face of the current trend of organising global sporting events the FIFA chief also advised the South Africans not to take up offers of help from British, French, German, or other experts involved in previous World Cups.

    "If there are too many cooks, it spoils the broth," he stated.

    The South African government has come under fire from senior municipal officials in the nine hosting cities who claim they are hampering preparations.

    The officials told a parliamentary committee they were still unclear about the amount of money they would receive for the tournament, whilst also complaining that legislation on tendering contracts threatened to derail their efforts.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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