Blatter: Now there’s no doubt about 2010

2007-11-26 00:00

LAST night’s near-faultless 2010 World Cup Preliminary Draw ended any debate that the global event will be held in this country, and will be a success, said Fifa president Sepp Blatter.

The draw, to determine the continental qualifying schedule for 2010, was held at the ICC in Durban and televised live on 34 television channels worldwide. It was the first official Fifa event to be held in South Africa in the build-up to 2010.

“It [the draw] is the kickoff,” Blatter said. “It is the window of South Africa that is opening to the world through television and through the media, and now there is no doubt that the 2010 World Cup will be here and will be a big success.”

The only slight blemish was a video clip that lost its sound for about 15 seconds. Even Bafana Bafana being drawn with arch-nemesis Nigeria in the 2010 African Nations Cup qualifiers could not ruin the event.

Asked what message last night’s draw sent out, Local Organising Committee (LOC) CEO Danny Jordaan replied: “I said before, there may be doubting Thomases, now there will only be Thomases.”

He added: “I’m very happy. We worked long and hard and it’s what we wanted in the end and we are absolutely delighted. It’s a celebration of Africa.

“That is what we promised, an efficient, celebratory World Cup in our country. It shows that we can do it. This is the first hi-definition television show from South Africa.”

In his address, President Thabo Mbeki said: “We reiterate what we said more than a year ago in Berlin, at the unveiling of the Fifa World Cup South Africa emblem, that Africa is ready, that Africa’s time has come”.

The official slogan for the 2010 World Cup was also announced at the draw by LOC chairman Irvin Khoza. It is: “Ke Nako [It’s time]. Celebrate Africa’s Humanity.”

Khoza said: “We felt it appropriate that we develop a message and a theme that would represent the objectives of the football family, as well as the intentions of the African diaspora”.

Blatter added: “Football is a game that shall bring people together to unite nations.

“And here it is also time to unite your nation through football.”

Delegates attending the draw included Holland’s soccer coach Marco van Basten, Portugal coach Luis Felipe Scolari, and Russia’s Dutch coach Guus Hiddink.

Senegalese artist Youssou N’Dour, South African band Freshlyground and jazz artist Judith Sepuma were among the performers.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.