SOUTH Africa will still deliver the greatest World Cup ever despite the wholesale change of leadership at the South African Football Association.
This is according to Kirsten "MK" Nematandani, the newly elected Safa president, in an interview with Sowetan on matters relating to the quadrennial soccer spectacle.
"The outcome of the elections on Saturday makes it clear that the chairman (Irvin Khoza) and chief executive officer (Danny Jordaan) will focus on the core business.
"The core business of the Local Organising Committee is to ensure that we deliver the greatest World Cup ever. We are still well on track despite what transpired on Saturday.
"It's a win-win situation for football. We all know that Fifa were concerned prior to the elections, but God the Almighty has answered our prayers.
"Nothing has changed in all aspects because we also have the same people on the ground doing a tremendous job for the country to ensure we meet all the deadlines.
"Some of the stadiums are ready and have been tested in the past few months. All the match venues will be ready in the next two months and we are very excited at Safa.
"Constructors are busy with the final touch-ups," said Nematandani, who is also happy that their regions have already started to benefit from the legacy projects.
"As I'm talking to you, an artificial pitch will be unveiled in Thohoyandou through our partnership with First National Bank this weekend.
"The artificial pitch in Thohoyandou has nothing to do with me, I was not involved when a decision was taken to take it to that area," said the Thohoyandou-based Nematandani.
"There will also be an international match between Majimbos and Zimbabwe on Sunday.
"There are similar projects (artificial pitches) in other regions.
"As part of the legacy project, we have to put more emphasis on the development of the game. We want to see more youths participating in our activities.
"It is also important for Serame Letsoaka (Safa technical director: development) to engage institutions like the High Performance Centre at the University of Free State and the University of North West in Potchefstroom on matters relating to the scientific approach to the game."
Nematandani said Safa wanted to see former soccer professionals involved in the game, adding that the current crop of players must also further their studies to have something to fall back on when they retire.