South Africa’s Confederations Cup Organising Committee just missed a distinction when Fifa president Sepp Blatter made his assessment of the organisation of the tournament, which was completed on Sunday.

Blatter awarded South Africa 7.5 out of 10 and said his faith in awarding both the Confederations Cup and the 2010 World Cup finals to South Africa had been more than justified.

Blatter was speaking at a final media briefing to wrap up the tournament at Ellis Park on Monday. Fifa’s 24-member executive committee unanimously praised the way the Confederations Cup was run and said they knew they could look forward to a hugely successful 2010 World Cup.

Blatter admitted not everything went right. He said the question of transport and lack of accommodation were two key areas that the 2010 Local Organising Committee (LOC) would have to rectify before the World Cup.

‘We know we made the right decision to award it to South Africa’
“It was a good Confederations Cup on and off the field. I am more than satisfied and hoping to sit here and award South Africa 10 out of 10 for hosting the World Cup when it ends in July 2010.

“It is very important for Fifa to host the biggest soccer event in Africa and we know we made the right decision to award it to South Africa.

“But the World Cup is a bigger challenge as regards transport and accommodation. We are expecting about 450 000 soccer tourists and they will need somewhere to sleep and transport to take them to and from venues.

“So this is a priority we need to resolve.”

Fifa secretary-general Jerome Valcke will meet with 2010 LOC CEO Danny Jordaan this week to iron out problem areas.

He said: “We cannot hide the fact we had problems with the park-and-ride system, the media shuttle and signage did not work. But these are problems we can solve.”

Jordaan said: “Hosting the Confederations Cup was the first small step to staging a successful World Cup.” – Sapa

PUBLICATION: (Cape Times) (Page 1)
DATED: 30th June 2009