Fifa gives thumbs up to 2010 World Cup in SA

World football’s governing body Fifa on Friday gave the thumbs up to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, saying its doubts about security and logistics for the event have been dispelled.

“South Africa, we trust you,” Fifa President Sepp Blatter announced after a meeting of governing-body chiefs.

“The executive committee is now convinced that South Africa will be a good host for the World Cup,” he added.

“Today they all stand united behind South Africa and the organisation of this important competition.”

Blatter said a key confidence-building step had been taken by the South African government in February with its approval of an additional budget to tackle security for fans and visitors, transport and logistics.

Fifa had reiterated concern at the lack of progress on building work for new stadiums in South Africa at its last executive committee meeting in December, when Blatter called for “a little bit of fire” in the preparations.

South African World Cup chief executive Danny Jordaan had pledged that all unfinished stadiums would be ready by October 2007.

Horst R Schmidt, vice-president of the 2010 organising committee, told a German newspaper Thursday that the organisers were on schedule.

“I do not doubt for a second that the World Cup will take place in South Africa. It will be a different World Cup from the one which took place last summer in Germany, but it will certainly not be any less impressive,” added Schmidt, who is also general secretary of the German Football Federation (DFB).—AFP

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