World Cup will be safe, says Jordaan

In the last 15 years the country has hosted top sporting events without any security incidents, 2010 Fifa World Cup organising committing chief executive Danny Jordaan said on Friday.

South Africa’s capability to host the event successfully was “beyond doubt”, he told the World Travel Market in London, according to a statement from the Local Organising Committee.

“You cannot name more than 10 countries that have hosted the magnitude of top sporting events that South Africa has hosted in just 15 years since its democracy and there has been not a single security incident in any those 140 major sporting events,” he said.

He was part of a panel comprising representatives from the Summer and Winter Olympic Games as well as Sue van der Merwe, South Africa’s International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister, and football legend Lucas Radebe.

Jordaan said the first African Fifa World Cup in more than 100 years of football history would be the best yet.

He said accommodation in all forms was available from hotels, to bed and breakfasts and student accommodation.

“This World Cup will offer visitors a chance to explore the country’s attractions and major tourism spots and allow the world to get to know and appreciate South Africa and the continent better.”

During the group stages of the tournament teams will never play in the same stadium twice which means fans will get to see and experience at least two of South Africa’s nine host cities and more if their team progresses.

“We want to show you that we are welcoming and hospitable. I know you know the one South African who is very warm and hospitable in the person of Nelson Mandela,” he said.

“But come and discover the other 47-million South Africans who are also warm and hospitable.”

Van der Merwe urged South Africans abroad to take the opportunity to visit “home” for the most spectacular World Cup of all time.

“We look forward to bringing many South Africans back for the 2010 World Cup and maybe they will stay,” said Van der Merwe.—Sapa

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