Neighbours to share in World Cup 'cake'

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

The government of Mpumalanga is a strong believer in sharing.

Hence it has roped in Swaziland and Mozambique into the 2010 World Cup in the hope that these two countries will benefit from the event.

Desmond Golding, the provincial World Cup deputy director general, said they had formed a technical committee to facilitate preparations for the competition.

Golding is the chairman of the committee, which includes all heads of department of the Mpumalanga government as well as representatives from Swaziland and Mozambique.

Other members include the South African Football Association in Mpumalanga, trade union movements and youth and other community structures.

"We made it clear that our World Cup will be in true African style so we have roped in Mozambique and Swaziland to be part of our committee," said Golding.

"As a committee we meet every third week of the month to discuss the technical issues pertaining to the 2010 World Cup.

"It will be the first World Cup to be held on African soil and we plan to make it a memorable one."

Golding said members of the provincial organising committee were in Mbabane, the capital of Swaziland, in November last year to help finalise their strategy for the World Cup.

"We will be going to Mozambique some time late next month to help the locals in finalising their implementation strategy," Golding said.

"It is a known fact that the World Cup is a global competition with massive economic benefits for the host country, including tourism.

"We want to ensure that our brothers and sisters in Swaziland and Mozambique also get a slice of the cake in 2010.

"Cologne was not one of the host cities during the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany but it benefited a lot from the tournament.

"Prior to the World Cup, Cologne embarked on an aggressive marketing campaign which resulted in many Brazilians adopting it as their home for the tournament," Golding said.

"Many Brazilians checked in at various hotels in Cologne, and it was easy for them to follow their national team."

Golding said they were also helping the Swazis and the Mozambicans to set up training camps in the two countries.

It is common for teams to set up camp and train in countries where they are familiar with the language or the culture.

In this regard, Mozambique looks set to compete with Angola to host Brazil and Portugal.