Jordaan: South Africa will host a safe World Cup
Chief Executive Officer of the 2010 World Cup organizing committee, Danny Jordaan, on Tuesday said in Vienna that South Africa would be ready and able to host a safe World Cup, dpa reported.
" South Africa has a track record of hosting big events - 11 in the past 14 years - without a single incident. These were safe and we will ensure that the World Cup is no different," he said.
Jordaan was hosting a South Africa evening in Vienna as a guest of Euro 2008 organizers, which was also attended by other 2010 officials and several former African footballers, including 199 World Footballer of the Year George Weah.
Jordaan said that he hoped that an African team would be in the final. "I really think that this is possible. There are several good teams, like Ivory Coast or Senegal.
"Unfortunately our own team is going through a slump at the moment and we have a mountain to climb to be really competitive."
He said that high expectations for African teams would increase pressure on them. "But quite frankly, anybody who is afraid of pressure does not even did need arrive in South Africa."
Jordaan, who is widely credited with bringing the World Cup to South Africa, said that there was doubt that the country could host the World Cup.
"This doubt has been with us for 40 years, but we are now focused on ensuring that the challenge that everybody arriving in South Africa will celebrate.
"We are now past the stage of doubt."
He said that the organizing committee had a major goal. "We want them to say two things: Why did we wait so long to come to this country and secondly when can we come back.
"A football fan is just another name for a tourist and we are looking forward to welcoming them.
"We had 8 million tourists in 2008 and will have 10 million by 2010. Why can't we have 450,000 over 30 days who are safe?
"Our track record is better or equal to any other country in the world, what more do you need to be convinced?"
The South African deputy minister of finance Jabu Moleketi said that there were presently 60,000 CCTVs that will ensure that everybody is safe. And that figure is growing.
"Funds have also been secured to increase the number of police by 30,000," said Moleketi.
" Africa is a great continent with great potential and we will unleash that potential. There will be doubting Thomases, but you will always have those."
"2010 will show our ability to share with the rest of the world - travel and tourism will be the basis on which people will come to the country."