Zimbabwe crisis worries Khoza

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

The Local Organising Committee yesterday expressed concern that the crisis in neighbouring Zimbabwe might have a negative effect on the 2010 World Cup.

But LOC chairman Irvin Khoza was quick to point out that they were confident that President Thabo Mbeki will help resolve the matter.

Khoza was responding to a question at a media briefing at Safa House during a break in the two-day LOC board meeting attended by Fifa's top brass.

This was after the LOC was asked if it was not concerned by utterances by Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai that the ongoing problems might spill over to South Africa.

"We are concerned, obviously they might spill over. I'm happy that the same Morgan has expressed confidence in President Mbeki," said Khoza.

"We are awaiting the outcome of the intervention of President Mbeki as sanctioned by the Southern Africa Development Community."

Tsvangirai said on Monday: "The pride which all of Africa felt about South Africa being selected to host the 2010 World Cup will turn into shame if the World Cup is blighted by the inability of Africans to solve the Zimbabwe crisis."

Zimbabwe is one of the neighbouring countries earmarked to be used as a 2010 World Cup training base, in line with the LOC's pledge to make the event an African affair.

At the same briefing, Khoza also announced that Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has been roped in as a member of the board of the LOC. Dlamini-Zuma's deputy Azziz Pahad will serve as her alternate.