Sir Alex gives 2010 thumbs up

2008-07-26 23:16
Pretoria - South Africa's preparations to host the 2010 World Cup finals were given major thumbs up by Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Ferguson was speaking after the Red Devils had massacred Kaizer Chiefs 4-0 in the Vodacom Challenge final played at Loftus in front of a near capacity crowd on Saturday.

Ferguson said he saw a big improvement not just on the playing field from his last visit two years ago, but praised the attitude of the people and readiness of the country's infra-structures.

In 2006 Ferguson brought a third string squad that lost to Chiefs in the final at the same venue.

Said the United boss: "It is a unique situation that South Africa is the first African country to host the World Cup.

"I was delighted by the reception we received where ever we have gone on this week long tour.

"What has really impressed me is the enthusiasm of the people of South Africa who have shown me that South Africa will host a successful World Cup in 2010."

No soccer hooligans

Ferguson said that there would be challenges facing South Africa in 2010. He cited transport and security as the two big challenges.

Said Ferguson: "What was fantastic on this trip was that we did not see one ugly incident on or off the field. There are no soccer hooligans here.

"That gives me great hope that the security for the biggest soccer event in the world will be top class."

But he warned that other countries could import hooligans and that security must be tight at all venues.

He also was worried about transporting fans around the country. He said that when United beat Chelsea in the European Champions League final he saw how much interest there were from fans.

"It was the same at Euro 2008. Fans need to be transported to venues where they can watch the games either live on television.

"What surprised me was how many fans went to these events. It will be the same in 2010 and they must be looked after."

Surprised by fans

But he said he was pleasantly surprised by fans in South Africa who packed the four Challenge matches - three involving United.

United and Chiefs drew 1-1 in the opening Challenge match last Saturday at a packed Newlands in Cape Town and then beat Orlando Pirates 1-0 at a packed Kings Park Stadium in Durban on Tuesday night.

Although Loftus was sold out for the final, there were empty seats. It was about 95% full.

There was not one even minor incident reported at any of the venues where United featured against the two most popular teams in South Africa.

Said Ferguson: "The facilities and hotels we have stayed in and played at are first rate.

"I wish South Africa well for 2010 and hope they have a successful World Cup.

"There is certainly more than enough enthusiasm for it to be hosted here."

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.

AB praises selfless skipper

2010-11-21 18:15 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.