Elections will have no negative effect on World Cup, Jordaan assures SA

2009-09-17 00:00

LOCAL Organising Committee CEO Danny Jordaan said yesterday he does not believe the impending SA Football Association presidential election on September 26 poses any threat to the organisation of the 2010 World Cup.

With Safa president Molephi Olifant not standing for re-election, Jordaan and LOC chairman Irvin Khoza have both been confirmed for nomination. With reported allegations of bribery and abuse of power fears have been a potentially acrimonious battle for the Safa presidency might lead to a subsequent divide in the LOC.

Speaking at a lunch to update media on 2010 developments, Jordaan said: “The Safa elections have to do with individuals pursuing individual administrative careers. The World Cup is a national project — it’s not about individuals.

“It is in the country’s interest and not in any individual’s interest that the World Cup must be successful.”

Jordaan said all the World Cup stadiums are on track to be finished by the end of October, with the exception of Green Point Stadium in December.

South Africa received a grade from Fifa president Sepp Blatter for the Confederations Cup in June of 7,5 out of 10. Jordaan was asked what the key issues Fifa said needed improving, and what South Africa has done so far to address those.

“The issues that were raised about the Confederations Cup were issues that related to the World Cup, and not how we fared in the Confed,” Jordaan said. “First, accommodation, second was transport and the third was security.

“Looking towards the World Cup, the ticket sales and the teams that qualify are an indication as to whether we will get 300 000 or 400 000 people coming to this country. We have 32 teams in the event, and if on average 10 000 supporters follow each team we will have 320 000.

“Teams will play in different venues and the fans will follow the teams. If England play Germany in Durban a city between them they could bring 70 000 fans.

“It’s clear some of our cities will not accommodate those numbers. Once the final draw [in Cape Town on December 4] has been completed we will be able to say, ‘in this city we have 20 000 rooms but we expect 50 000 fans’. Therefore 30 000 fans have to move into the city then back out again on match day.

“To do that we need about 1 000 buses, we need trains and we need about 100 additional aircraft. So accommodation and transport are linked and after the draw we will be able to finalise the operational details.

“On security, we learnt key lessons in the Confed — were happy with security and there were no major breaches.”

Jordaan said Fifa bylaws barring local traders operating in exclusion zones surrounding the stadiums to protect the rights of World Cup sponsors would not apply to “protocol” routes to and from team hotels, the airport, as reported in a Durban newspaper yesterday.

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