Mbeki declares SA will be ready

South African President Thabo Mbeki was declared that his country will confound their critics by staging a well organised football World Cup in 2010.

    Addressing poverty? No, the first priority will be the World Cup for Thabo Mbeki

    Speaking at a workshop which was attended by representatives from FIFA, Mbeki said his government would ensure the tournament went smoothly when it was staged in Africa for the first time.
     
    "There is absolutely no reason why 2010 will not ... surprise  the sceptics not only about the prowess of the millions of African  footballers, but also about Africa's capacity successfully to  provide an outstanding home for a global tournament of universal joy  and celebration," said Mbeki in Cape Town.
      
    "Each and every one of us will ... spare no effort to ensure that everything necessary for a truly successful (tournament) is done on time, and preferably ahead of schedule, meeting all the  specifications set by FIFA and all the things expected us by the  billions of football fans across the world."
      
    FIFA president Sepp Blatter voiced concerns over construction last month when he said he had "yet to see the pickaxes and spades needed to start the work".
      
    German football legend Franz Beckenbauer, the chief organiser of this year's finals, also warned recently that the tournament in South Africa was "beset by big problems".
     
    However Danny Jordaan, the head of the 2010 local organising committee insisted last week that South Africa was "well ahead of plans based on a timeframe set by us and FIFA."
      
    Despite stepping down a year before the tournament is held Mbeki said that a successful tournament would be his government's main priority.
      
    "I would like to assure the FIFA delegation that is with us today that our government and the entirety of our people have dedicated the period up to 2010 to the resounding success of the  FIFA African soccer World Cup," he said.

    SOURCE: AFP


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