2010 World Cup organisers dismiss ‘internal rifts’

February 19th, 2008 - 1:02 pm ICT by admin  

Johannesburg, Feb 19 (Xinhua) South African organisers of the 2010 football World Cup denied “internal rifts” exposed by local media as FIFA officials kicked off a weeklong inspection for preparations. Irvin Khoza, chairman of the 2010 World Cup Organising Committee (OC), dismissed media reports Monday that there were tensions between himself and OC chief executive officer Danny Jordaan.

“Danny Jordaan and myself made a commitment that South Africa’s bids for the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cup is not about Danny Jordaan or Irvin Khoza, it’s about the country and the continent,” Khoza told a press conference here.

The front-page report of Sunday Times described infighting and mistrust, mainly between Jordaan and Khoza, as “warfare” which “are tearing the 2010 Local Organising Committee apart” and threatened to derail the World Cup project, the first one on African soil.

The report also suggested that Tim Modise, OC’s communications and marketing chief, was on the brink of leaving the company last week due to clashes between him and Jordaan.

Both Khoza and Jordaan dismissed the report as “negative” and “untrue”.

“There is a lot of despondency and hopeless in our country,” Khoza said. “The 2010 FIFA World Cup is one project which gives hope to all of us. Let us not destroy it.”

Jordaan said Modise would have his full support and would continue to work for the OC.

“The truth is that Tim has my full support and in my view is one of the best and most respected individuals in the country to engage with the public and media on the 2010 project… We hope that he will continue to make an invaluable contribution to this project,” said Jordaan.

Khoza said the OC is now focussed on FIFA Confederation Cup in 2009, a rehearsal of the world’s football extravaganza in 2010.

“We are only 18 months away now (from the Confederations Cup) and we’re happy with what we’ve achieved, which is there for the whole country to see,” Khoza said.

The FIFA delegation will this week visit a total of six 2010 World Cup host cities and stadiums, four of which are FIFA Confederations Cup venues including Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg and Pretoria’s Loftus stadium.

Inspectors are expected to check on stadium management, marketing, IT, media, TV, accommodation, security, stadium construction and transportation.

With their victory in the 2008 African Cup of Nations in Ghana this month, African champions Egypt have become the latest country to qualify for the FIFA Confederations Cup line-up, joining reigning world champions Italy, South American champions Brazil, Asian champions Iraq and CONCACAF champions the United States.

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