All reports by Ramatsiyi Moholoa
TAMALE - The South African High Commission in Ghana has embarked on a project to help in the development of soccer in the west African country that is hosting the 26th Africa Cup of Nations finals.
Speaking to Sowetan at a party to welcome Bafana Bafana on Monday night, High Commissioner Rapu Molekane said they will be hosting soccer clinics in Accra for Ghanaian youngsters.
Also in attendance were South African Football Association deputy president Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana; executive members Obakeng Molatedi, Vernon Seymour and Mandla Mazibuko; and team manager Sipho Nkumane.
Representatives of the South African government 2010 World Cup unit, Tamale city council and Ghana Football Association were also at the welcome function.
Molekane said the 2010 World Cup ambassadors like Abedi Pele of Ghana, George Weah of Liberia and Kalusha Bwalya of Zambia will conduct the clinics.
"We are using the event as part of the mission's plan to visualise the 2010 World Cup in west Africa, the clinics will take place before the end of the tournament here in Ghana but we still have to agree on a date," said Molekane. "The plan is to invite ambassadors of all the 16 countries that are here in Ghana for the Africa Cup of Nations. We will also use the opportunity to give them an update on South Africa's readiness for the 2010 World Cup."
Molekane also used Monday night's event to give the Ghanaians present an update on the tournament's preparations, saying the 2010 World Cup Local Organising Committee was on track in their plans to stage a successful African World Cup.
"The construction of stadiums and upgrading process for the existing ones is going according to plan, we [South Africa] are ready to host a tournament that will make the whole of Africa proud.
"There is no doubt that the stadiums will all be ready for the tournament. On the field of play, we know the soccer administrators are working hard to assemble a formidable team that will clinch the World Cup title in 2010."
Nonkonyana said it was important for Bafana Bafana to do well in 2010 for the success of the quadrennial tournament.
"The 2008 Africa Cup of Nations will be a great success if the Black Stars of Ghana do well, but it will be a disaster if they don't do well.
"Going back to the 2010 World Cup, it will be a failure if Bafana Bafana do not do well. We [the administrators] have already started with the process of preparing the team for the tournament and we are hoping to do well."
lRamatsiyi Moholoa is in Ghana courtesy of Standard Bank.