Transport and security remain the key challenges still facing world controlling soccer body Fifa and the 2010 World Cup Local Organising Committee.

Fifa secretary-general Jerome Valcke said in Johannesburg on Wednesday he had been given assurances from Transport Minister Jeff Radebe that there would be enough transport for the 500 000 soccer fans expected to visit South Africa during the World Cup finals in June and July 2010.

“There will be an extra 1 400 taxis and busses available, plus Fifa will be bringing in a minimum of 3 000 vehicles for their own staff to get around the country.”

Valcke was also pleased to learn that 41 000 extra police officer would be employed and on duty during the soccer showpiece.

“We are comfortable with the way things are progressing, But no matter how good the infrastructure is, we need the right and properly qualified people to run the event.”

Valcke also stressed Fifa did not expect any problems with next year’s general election.

“We have been assured that all commitments and guarantees given to Fifa will be honoured by the new government. So we have nothing to worry about on that score.

“Also it was [ANC president] Jacob Zuma who signed the Fifa guarantees in 2003 as the deputy president of South Africa when then president Thabo Mbeki was not available.”

Valcke said Fifa was impressed by the two draws held in South Africa. Last year in Durban South Africa hosted the preliminary draw for the 2010 World Cup. Last weekend it staged the successful Confederations Cup draw.

“We are looking forward to South Africa making it three successful draws in a row on December 4 next year when we stage the World Cup draw in Johannesburg. We are expecting over 1 500 delegates for that event.”

Valcke again stressed Fifa was not concerned by overseas media criticism of South Africa’s readiness to host the 2010 World Cup finals.

“No matter where we stage the World Cup there will be criticism. South Africa will host a successful event in 2010. We are more than happy with the progress of the new and renovated stadiums and we are confident they will all be ready on schedule, as everything appears to be well on track at the present.” – Sapa

DATED: 26th November 2008