Hosts South Africa must do more to promote this year’s Confederations Cup and the 2010 World Cup, FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke said on Tuesday.

“I have not seen a single promotion for the Confederations Cup and also not a single one for the World Cup,” he told a news conference.

“It is impossible to bring people to the stadium if we do not promote the Confederations Cup,” he said.

World Cup Organising Committee chief executive officer Danny Jordaan criticised what he saw as a lack of enthusiasm in the country.

“There is only one country that will host this World Cup and that is South Africa. And yet you find countries like Canada, Australia are more enthusiastic it seems than our own South African population,” he said.

“The same situation applies for the Confederations Cup.”

The Confederations Cup, seen as a World Cup appetiser, will take place from June 14-28. Valcke said a company had been hired to advertise both events.

Jordaan said 170,000 tickets had been sold so far for the Confederations Cup.
South Africa’s government hopes the World Cup, the first to be held in Africa, will bring in millions of dollars and give the country a higher profile.

The readiness of the stadiums and infrastructure for the World Cup has come under scrutiny but FIFA President Sepp Blatter said in December there was “no plan B”.

The South African government has pledged to beef up security for the tournament, hoping to ease concerns over one of the world’s highest rates of violent crime.

AUTHOR: Zimkhitha Sulelo
DATED: 3rd March 2009