NIGERIAN soccer great Austin "Jay Jay" Okocha has showered South Africa with accolades for silencing the doubting Thomases with the high level of professionalism displayed in the preparations for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
Speaking at the 50 days countdown celebrations at Galeshewe Stadium in Kimberley yesterday, Okocha said he was highly impressed by the state of facilities in South Africa.
Okacha was invited by the Local Organising Committee to conduct coaching clinics for youngsters in Northern Cape. He was joined by World Cup ambassador Doctor Khumalo.
"I'm optimistic and wish the African teams to do well, this is an opportunity for African teams to make history," he said. "I strongly believe that we will be represented as Africa in the semifinals.
"One of the African teams can also go all the way to the final, but we have to work hard. Bafana Bafana are also coming up okay, I saw them during the 2009 Confederations Cup. As for Nigeria, they are so unpredictable and you cannot write them off. Ivory Coast have a great team too, but they tend to underestimate their opposition."
The other three African teams in the World Cup are Ghana, Cameroon and Algeria.