World Cup To Leave Lasting Legacy

Pretoria- Education will be the legacy of the first Soccer World Cup on African soil, says FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

"Education, this is the legacy not the infrastructure. Naturally you must be proud of the infrastructure in South Africa not only for the people but the football society. But the legacy is education, "said Blatter at a briefing hosted by President Jacob Zuma on Sunday.

This as President Zuma announced that government plans to host a 1Goal Education campaign on 7 July on the sidelines of the semi-finals in Cape Town. The World Cup officially kicks off on Friday.

Zuma who agrees that education will be the most important spin-off of the month-long spectacle said if the programme is implemented properly, it will enable 72 million African children who currently don't attend primary school to do so.

"It will be one of the most lasting legacies of the 2010 World Cup and we urge all nations of the world and the private sector internationally to support this campaign," said Zuma.

Zuma saluted construction workers who worked tirelessly to ensure that stadia were ready on time. Fifty two football pitches are being built in communities across the country while 52 others will be built across the continent.

Blatter said as part of bringing the spectacle to African soil, R100 million US dollars to help national associations as well as to hone and to keep talent on the continent by ensuring that players remain in their home countries to earn a decent living has been set aside.

"Bringing the world cup to Africa, to South Africa is to trust South Africa, Africans and to say that you're strong you can do it, this is something also of a legacy of a continent that has been sidelined and still is sidelined but the World Cup cannot be sidelined. It is an achievement," concluded Blatter. -BuaNews

Madiba magic at opening match will be a bonus- Zuma

Pretoria- As excitement mounts with only four days to go till Bafana Bafana's clash with Mexico on Friday at Soccer City, former President Nelson Mandela's presence, if he is able to attend, will be a bonus.

"If he is there it will be a bonus," President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday. The former president's family has said that he is too frail to attend.

"We all know that the former president has aged. This is a decision that President Mandela will make. He said of his own that he'd love to be there, whether he'll be there or not I think depends entirely on him. If he appears we'll be very happy even if he does not appear we'll understand," said Zuma.

At a briefing on Sunday on the state of readiness of the country ahead of the kick-off of the World Cup, Zuma paid homage to the former president for the role he played in clinching the tournament.

Zuma said it was through Mandela's efforts to achieve reconciliation and to build a thriving rainbow nation that the country was bestowed with hosting the event.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter who met with Mandela three days ago said that it was the former president's wish to be present on Friday but that even if he does not make it "his spirit will be present".

Mexican President Felipe Calderon will be in the country to witness the clash between his country and South Africa.

"Don't ask me what the score will be," joked Zuma referring to the opening match. -BuaNews