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Afcon a chance to celebrate Africa's humanity

By unknown | Jan 16, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

In just a few days, on Sunday to be exact, the African showpiece event of the best football talent on the continent gets under way in Accra, Ghana.

In just a few days, on Sunday to be exact, the African showpiece event of the best football talent on the continent gets under way in Accra, Ghana.

This will be another additional building block that should give credence to the promise to make the 2010 World Cup an African World Cup because some of the talent on display will be the core of teams that will challenge the rest of the world in two years' time.

Potentially, five of the countries that are taking part, together with South Africa as hosts, will carry the hopes and dreams of the African football fans around the world to produce World Cup champions in two years' time.

Bafana Bafana go into the Ghana edition of the Africa Cup of Nations buoyed by the achievements of the rugby World Cup champions, the Springboks in France, late last year. Whether they will also be crowned champions is not known, but it definitely is something that the overwhelming majority of football fans expect.

This is also an opportunity for coach Carlos Alberto Parreirra and his players to demonstrate that they are on their way to becoming highly competitive hosts in 2010.

We in the Organising Committee, are excited about the year ahead given the number of the big sporting events lined up this year.

The Afcon in Ghana will give some of our officials an opportunity to assist and serve, thus learning to work under different conditions as well as building networks of contacts so necessary to deliver a truly African World Cup.

Just a reminder, late last year the Organising Committee unveiled the slogan of the World Cup which is: "Ke nako. Celebrate Africa's Humanity". This tournament gives us the opportunity to start popularising the theme of the World Cup.

Other major international sporting events that will offer us the chance to gain working experience in delivering an excellent tournament include the Euro 2008 event in Switzerland and Austria in June and the Beijing Olympics in China later this year. Events of this nature serve as benchmarks and they are always being improved.

In the words of one of my colleagues, who has extensive experience in the running of football tournaments, Goran Havik, "for one to excel in any game, it is important to understand the game, learn the game and to play the game".

That way one will be better equipped to win the game.

Besides all these activities the key focus is going to be on the completion of the five venues for the Confederation Cup to be played next year, the various marketing campaigns that include the launch of the mascot and World Cup trophy tour and intensive media campaigns.

The bigger job, though, for all the divisions of the Organising Committee, is the preparation for the eight-nations Confederations Cup. This event is generally regarded as a test tournament of the World Cup.

Given our successful preliminary draw in Durban last November, the expectation in the organisation is very high that we deliver a memorable Confed Cup.

Let me join Bafana supporters in wishing our team well in the Afcon, while expressing pride in the growing talent on the continent. It is for that reason that we boldly state: "Ke nako. Celebrate Africa's Humanity!"

l Tim Modise is the 2010 World Cup SA Local Organising Committee's head of communications. - For your suggestions, queries and more on 2010 e-mail


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