JOHANNESBURG: The 2010 World Cup to be hosted by South Africa will leave the legacy of security in the country and of pride on the continent, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said on Monday.
There will be a double legacy. There will be the one in South Africa. There will be extremely tight security. We hope that this security will be maintained after the World Cup in order to ensure that we have left a legacy, he said in an interview to mark 500 days to go to the event.
The other legacy is for the whole of Africa. We want them to be proud and be able to say we Africans have organized the world s most important sporting event: the FIFA World Cup, Blatter said in the exclusive interview to FIFA.com, copies of which were released here.
We have to trust in the African ability to organize the competition. Trust will give them confidence. If they have confidence, they will be better in the future, not only as footballers, but as organizers, he said.
At a news conference Monday in Nasrec, outside Johannesburg, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said that certain logistics problems to be solved ahead of the World Cup were putting the organizers on a very tight schedule.
I am not afraid anymore about the stadiums. The infrastructure is okay.
What is left now is to give life to the World Cup, Valcke said.
We have several minor issues to correct or to work on. But generally, we are on track on our program. We are a little late on some issues, but well in advance in others, he told an AFP reporter after the news conference.
I was a little worried because we are 135 days to the Confederations Cup and 500 days to the World Cup, and the nights are getting shorter. But generally we are at ease even if the pressure comes, and becomes severe, he said.
He urged spectators to buy tickets ahead of matches in order to ensure that stadiums were filled on match days.
If people are buying tickets at the last minute, it will be difficult to fill the stadiums, he told reporters at the news conference, also attended by Danny Jordaan, the chief executive of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organizing Committee (LOC).
Jordaan assured that all the eight teams participating in the June Confederations Cup in South Africa will field their best players as, according to him each of the teams are going to play to win.
Brazil, United States, Italy, Spain, Egypt, Iraq, New Zealand and hosts South Africa are participating in the Confederations Cup, to be played in June in four South African cities. -AFP