SA to earn billions from WC

2004-10-13 19:06
Johannesburg - South Africa expects about 400 000 visitors for the 2010 Football World Cup, the first to be held on the continent, as well as billions of dollars in revenue, environment minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said on Wednesday.

"It's the greatest sporting event ever to grace the African continent. We expect 400 000 visitors ... 108 warm-up games and 64 matches,".

Television coverage of the World Cup will bring South Africa into the homes of new tourism markets such as Brazil, Argentina, eastern Europe, Russia, Japan and South Korea.

Some 160 000 jobs are expected to be created from hosting the event, according to the national football bid committee.

Van Schalkwyk however warned that 2010 was "just round the corner" and underlined that the World Cup would only be successful if it was planned down "to the last detail," while urging the need for "operational excellence."

When asked whether the facilities would be completed well in time or just before the event - like in the case of Athens Olympics -- van Schalkwyk replied: "No, this is Africa. We'll be ready long before the time."

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