Blatter rates Confed Cup 7,5 out of 10

International football boss Sepp Blatter on Monday gave South Africa a 7,5 out of 10 rating for its organisation of the Confederations Cup, a test event for the World Cup next year.

Delivering his verdict on the eight-nation event a day after the tournament ended in victory for defending champions Brazil, Blatter said: “I am happy.”

“We know on logistics we will have to work on it,” he said, but said Blatter, “we are on the positive side.”

“The [World Cup local] organising committee and [its] CEO Danny Jordaan have done a good job,” he told a press conference in Johannesburg with Jordaan by his side.

Fifa secretary-general Jerome Valcke concurred. “There is not a single issue where we have the feeling 11 months will not be enough to solve them,” he said.

Blatter singled out the hospitality of South Africans, which he described as “really remarkable” and the enthusiastic support of South Africans for the tournament for particular praise.

Transport and accommodation were the two areas most requiring attention before about 450 000 football fans descend on the country for the June 11 to July 11 World Cup, Blatter said.

Getting fans to and from the games in the absence of a comprehensive reliable public transport network and finding enough beds was “a challenge, a big challenge”, he said.

Long delays in stadium park-and-ride systems at the Confed Cup, which was held in four of nine World Cup host cities, rammed home the urgency of getting stalled new rapid-bus systems back on track.

In some cases the delays caused fans to miss half the game.

Fifa is also struggling to overcome a shortfall of around 18 000 approved hotel beds for the tournament.

South Africa’s cold winter made camping unfeasible, he joked.

Blatter also spoke out again in defence of the vuvuzela, the noisy plastic trumpet blown by South African fans at games, which some European players and media want banned or curtailed.

“The vuvuzela is part of the culture here but let them [South Africans] enjoy the game,” he said.—Sapa-dpa

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