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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 08:12, July 03, 2006
S. Africa won't lose 2010 World Cup: official
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A South African official on Sunday angrily reacted to a local news report that his country might lose the right to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup due to poor preparations.

Claims that South Africa could lose the host right for the international soccer showpiece were "laughable" and "absolute nonsense," said Danny Jordaan, the chief executive of the local organizing committee for the event.

"What has changed since we won (the right to host) the World Cup? Why will we suddenly now lose it?" Jordaan was quoted as asking by the South African Press Association (SAPA).

"We must be serious about how we present our country to the outside world. We are not serious," said Jordaan, who is in Germany for the ongoing World Cup tournament.

He was reacting to a newspaper report that FIFA, the international soccer management body, was working on a back-up plan to move the 2010 Soccer World Cup to Australia.

Reasons cited for the possibility that South Africa might lose the opportunity to present the World Cup were violent crime, a third world public transport system, HIV/AIDS and insufficient accommodation.

Jordaan said he was "not interested" in stories of that nature.

"I heard about the story, but I'm really not interested in it," he said.

The newspaper also reported that Jordaan's standard answer that everything was going according to plan and was ahead of schedule was leading to increasing cynicism.

Jordaan's rage erupted following constant criticism at home over the government's slowness in preparing for the event, which was recently heated by local media coverage on how the Germans host this year's World Cup.

South Africans currently concentrating on the football in Germany will soon be jolted back to reality of stadiums, transport, security, IT and the millions of other requirements of hosting a World Cup, said Mninawa Ntloko, deputy sports editor with the national newspaper Business Day.

Those "brilliant" German stadiums absent in South Africa were a real wake-up call and "people wonder if we (South Africans) aren't going to embarrass ourselves in four years," he said.

Source: Xinhua


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