FIFA: ready to confront South Africa's 2010 pessimists

Now that the Germany World Cup event is over, we are ready to respond to South Africa's 2010 pessimists

The world's soccer governing body, FIFA, says it is now ready to confront South Africa's "2010 pessimists."

Addressing the Joint Committee of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces during the Special Measures Bill hearings at Parliament yesterday, the head of FIFA's World Cup office in South Africa, Michael Palmer, said the soccer body was now ready to confront the "pessimists" who believed South Africa was not capable of hosting a successful tournament.

"Our policy has always been that we don't comment on issues pertaining to a future tournament when there is another event in progress.

"Now that the Germany World Cup event is over, we are ready to respond to South Africa's FIFA World Cup 2010 pessimists," he said.

He dismissed recent media reports suggesting that FIFA was on the verge of moving the 2010 soccer World Cup tournament to Australia, as being uninformed.

"Had those people behind the reports bothered to conduct a basic research on that possibility, they would have easily realized that such a decision would have been impractical.

"How can you expect a country such as Australia, which happens not to be a soccer country, to prepare for an event such as the FIFA Soccer World Cup in a space of less than four years?" he asked.

One of the main issues raised by MPs was the issue of trading within close proximity of the respective stadia.

Mr Palmer assured MPs that any restrictions on trade would be aimed at protecting the rights of FIFA's official sponsors.

"There will definitely be allocated areas for small business people. "The corner shop next to the stadium won't be closed down," he said.

The CEO of the Local Organising Committee Danny Jordaan encouraged those companies that have been sponsoring South African soccer over the years to continue doing so.

"This 2010 World Cup Soccer event is not about FIFA, it's about our country (South Africa) and those companies that have been supporting soccer in the country should continue to do so.

"The fact that they might not have been nominated as FIFA official sponsors does not mean they should now stop doing the good work that they have been doing for local soccer," he said.

Meanwhile, the Portfolio Committee on Sports and Recreation passed the Special Measures Bill on 25 July 2006. -

(source: BuaNews / Clive Ndou)

The German state of Bavaria is encouraging South African companies to attend a real estate trade fair in October 2006, saying it will attract investors in the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

Hans Spitzner, Bavaria's deputy minister for economic affairs said that SA could benefit from experience Germany was gaining in staging the 2006 Football World Cup.

Specific areas of opportunity that could be triggered by the event included the development of shopping malls, entertainment venues and residential developments, he said. The 2010 Football World Cup is expected to generate billions of rands.

Australia is keen as well to share the experience gained in hosting the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

(source: Business Day / Chris Van Gass / 17 February 2005)

The 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup should boost tourism in Southern Africa, which is currently handicapped by its image as a war zone and the difficulties of travel within the region.

Shepherd Nyaruwata, the executive director of the Regional Tourism Organisation for Southern Africa, said: "There is a need to spruce up the image of the region."

Nyaruwata expected tourist numbers to peak from 14 million last year to 20 million during 2010, with some World Cup soccer fans going on from the soccer tournament in South Africa to visit neighbouring states such as Mozambique and Namibia.

(source: Business Report / Alfonce Mbizwo / 17 March 2005)

For press we have created, URL’s to use in print publications and web logs on the 2010 Soccer World Cup to publish, for example: (2010 News Section)

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