Jordaan upbeat about 2010

2009-11-19 12:21

Danny Jordaan, the CEO of the local 2010 World Cup organising

committee, on Thursday promised that South Africa would stage the best final

draw in Cape Town on December 4 and the best World Cup in Fifa’s history.

“We will show the world what they have been missing for the past

100 years by making this World Cup, the first ever in Fifa’s 100-year-plus

history in Africa, the best ever,” he said during a flag raising ceremony held

at Safa House in Johannesburg.

Flags of the 32 countries competing in the World Cup next June

would fly there until the end of tournament on July 11 next year.

Jordaan said six of the new stadiums being built for the showpiece

would be in the top 10 best stadiums in the world.

“In fact two (including Soccer City) would be in the top six of the

world’s best stadiums.”

With the flag raising ceremony completed, the story for journalists

had changed.

“There [are] no more questions about if the stadiums will be ready.

They are all on schedule. Some will be even completed earlier than

schedule.

“The story now moves to the teams in the finals, the players,

coaches and most importantly the fans. It is the supporters who will be arriving

here in their hundreds of thousands to support their countries and we will make

sure we make them feel at home,” Jordaan said.

Jordaan issued a challenge to the 31 ambassadors of the qualifying

countries who attended Thursday’s ceremony to make sure they put bums on

seats.

“Bafana fans must respond in vast numbers and make sure the

stadiums are full. But we are expecting big things from the 31 countries who

have qualified.

“I will be conducting monthly briefings from now on as regards

ticket sales,” he said.

Jordaan was looking for bigger numbers than arrived in Germany for

the 2006 World Cup from countries such as Holland which topped the list with

150 000 fans, England had 100 000, Japan 45 000 and Mexico 35 000.

Between 450 000 and 500 000 fans are expected to attend the 2010

tournament.

While foreign journalists again highlighted South Africa’s poor

crime record, Jordaan expected a secure event.

“South Africa has hosted 140 world class events since 1994 without

one single problem, including June’s Confederations Cup, the cricket and rugby

world cups plus many other major international events without any trouble.

“We have done our homework as making sure fans, teams and officials

will be safe at match venues and training grounds. We do not anticipate any

problems.

“We have had 9.8 million visitors to South Africa this year. My

responsibility is to ensure that match and training venues and hotels where fans

and teams are staying are secure, and this I can guarantee.”

The dignitaries were welcomed by the Co-operative Governance

Minister Sicelo Shiceka and president of the South African Football Association

Kirsten Nematandani who brought the good wishes of former president Nelson

Mandela to the counties who had qualified.

Said Nematandani: “Madiba was instrumental in securing the World

Cup, but unfortunately he could not be here, but sends his best wishes to the

qualifiers.”


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