The soccer emperor has spoken: South Africa is on track to host what he described as the best Fifa soccer World Cup tournament in 2010.

Fifa president Joseph Blatter this week completed his four-day visit to South Africa with brilliant appraisal of preparations of the great event.

“I am very pleased with what I have seen over the last few days, in particular in the stadiums. The progress being made is good. With all the guarantees and assurances given by the political authorities, I am convinced that, together, we will bring the Fifa World Cup to a great success.”

His satisfaction stemmed from what he had witnessed in Joburg and Cape Town. Blatter was accompanied by Fifa Secretary General Jerome Valcke as well as by Fifa Goodwill Ambassador Tokyo Sexwale on his visit.

When Blatter was here in June last year, he said he wanted to see more picks and shovels at our World Cup stadiums. Now, when he returned this year he saw stadium roofs being erected and seats being installed. More than 20 000 workers toil at the country’s 10 stadiums currently under construction or renovation.

Roll on June 11 2010 when the tournament begins at Soccer City.

PUBLICATION: The Star
DATED: 19th September 2008