South Africa gets Blatter’s backing for 2010 World Cup

July 2nd, 2008 - 2:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Johannesburg, July 2 (DPA) South Africa’s 2010 World Cup organising committee said that they have been reassured by world football body FIFA president Joseph Blatter over the country’s hosting of the tournament. “I have spoken to Blatter and he reaffirmed that only God can prevent South Africa staging the World Cup in 2010,” Local Organising Committee (LOC) chief executive Danny Jordaan said.

Blatter had given an interview Sunday with Austrian television at the European Championships saying he had a “plan B” in case South Africa would be unable to host the World Cup finals.

Jordaan said he had been “amazed” by the reports.

“Blatter has gone out of his way to bring the 2010 World Cup to South Africa,” he said.

“It makes no sense for him to say he has another plan. Obviously FIFA must have a plan if we suffered a major natural catastrophe, but that is all.”

Jordaan added that he was not worried about mounting crime in the country, adding: “I do not believe we will have one security problem at the (2009) Confederations Cup or the World Cup.”

He said he was confident stadiums for the Confederations Cup and World Cup would be completed on schedule, despite reports of delays at some venues.

Blatter had told Austrian state broadcaster ORF that there were some concerns about infrastructure and security.

He said the Confederations Cup would be the ultimate test run and if that was not satisfactory it would be time to look at alternatives.

“But at the moment an earthquake would have to occur to prevent the World Cup from being held in South Africa. However, I would be a negligent FIFA boss if there was no plan B in the cupboard,” he said.

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