FIFA 'confident' about SA 2010

By Ndaba Dlamini

Johannesburg - FIFA is confident that South Africa's preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup are adequate and there is no plan to take the tournament to another country.

This was said by the Secretary-General of the world football governing body, Jerome Valcke, after a 2010 Local Organising Committee (LOC) board meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday, according to the official website for the City of Johannesburg.

Mr Valcke's comments come after reports that FIFA President Sepp Blatter had said there was, after all, a "plan B" in place in the event of South Africa failing to host the world's most popular sports tournament.

As the international football governing body, Mr Valcke said, FIFA had a mandate to have measures in place in case a natural catastrophe occurred in a country which was due to host an event of this size.

It was only in the event of a natural disaster that FIFA would put in place a plan B, he stressed.

"I can give an example of China, which was supposed to host the women's soccer world cup in 2003. That event had to be moved to the United States because of the outbreak of the SARS [severe acute respiratory syndrome] disease."

He would not say which country would take over from South Africa if there was a natural disaster in the republic.

"As FIFA, we are confident that preparations for the world cup in terms of transport, security, accommodation and stadium construction are going on very well.

"We are getting what we need from South Africa in terms of our agreement for the country to host the event." - BuaNews