Public viewing areas are to be built in rural areas so people can see the 2010 World Cup, according to MEC for Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture, Noxolo Ntantiso-Abrahams.

“We are hoping 2010 will not come and go without people getting a feel of what it is about,” he told a Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture workshop at Mpekweni yesterday.

An exciting feature of the build-up to 2010 was a “school adventure” programme designed to stimulate learning by cashing in on the World Cup.

More than 12 million students are expected to be involved and learn about the history of participating countries, sport, mathematics and geometry.

Resolutions adopted during the three-day workshop included:

l Starting a “vibrant partnership” between sport, recreation, arts and culture and the South African Football Association; and

l Assisting referees and coaches in the province and developing specific club development programmes and women’s football.

Local organising committee head Danny Jordaan again allayed fears that rampant crime and political uncertainty in South Africa could derail the tournament. Jordaan reiterated that “only God can take away this World Cup”, and again denied a “Plan B” host country had already been identified.

The Port Elizabeth- born soccer supremo said only two things could stop the event taking place in South Africa – “a national disaster or civil war”.

“There is no such thing as a Plan B … we need to engage the world to say the country has huge ability. South African people must believe and support the event.”

Saying the event would generate R11-billion for soccer in the country, Jordaan highlighted the fact that previous rugby and cricket world cups and other major sporting events had taken place in South Africa – “without a single incident”, proving that the country could pull it off.

“Tourism is growing by one million people a year … if it is so bad, why are the figures increasing?

“I can give the teams absolute guarantees they will be safe.”

Starting a “vibrant partnership” between sport, recreation, arts and culture and the South African Football Association;

l Assisting referees and coaches in the province and developing specific club development programmes and women’s football.

PUBLICATION: Daily Dispatch Online
AUTHOR: DAVID MACGREGOR
DATED: 10th November 2008