World Cup puzzle pieces falling into place

There is an interesting phenomenon developing around the World Cup.

There is an interesting phenomenon developing around the World Cup.

Not only are there individuals or groups working hard to exploit opportunities around the event, there are also groups and individuals who are very keen to make the 2010 tournament work and our nation succeed.

Earlier on Monday, one of our sponsors, FNB, unveiled the countdown clock at Oliver Tambo Airport to remind us that we were exactly three years away from the kickoff for the finals. Another, MTN, was hosting the African Union of Broadcasters conference, organised by the SABC.

The day had started with yet another interesting event. Two young German national players who had played in the 2006 World Cup, Piotr Trochowski and Philip Lamm, who scored the first goal of that tournament, visited our offices en route to visiting the construction sites of Orlando Stadium and Soccer City.

They came to see for themselves because they are likely to play for their country in 2010. They did not believe what they read or heard so they came, they saw, and were very impressed.

Their visit, which they initiated, was facilitated by Mike de Vries, a German national behind the successful "Land of Ideas" and Kheepe Moremi and his colleagues at the International Marketing Council.

The Joburg Council's 2010 unit, under Sibongile Mazibuko, gave an impressive presentation about the various projects including the reconstruction of both the Rand and Orlando stadiums. They work really hard over there at Jozi 2010.

Sis Sibongile told us that Soccer City would be completed in April 2009, several months ahead of schedule. I believe her - the pace and amount of construction work is astounding.

On the other hand, the SABC, as a leading broadcaster on the African continent, has been looking at ways and means of promoting the Africanness (sic) of the World Cup and has in the process been negotiating with Fifa to make the broadcasting rights available to various broadcasters on the continent. Thus the two-day conference that ended yesterday.

The chief executive of the SABC, Advocate Dali Mpofu, unveiled an approach that shows that the broadcast media can play a much more significant role in improving conditions on the continent using the World Cup as a catalyst.

The approach covers a spectrum from promoting the national teams that qualify to promoting democracy and peace through football on the continent. My sense is that African media professionals are awakening to the fact that the coverage of our lives should be through their objective eyes, fair, unprejudiced and respectful of our dignity.

Remember, there will always be voices in the world that say certain things in the world would not work because they are done by Africans, irrespective of evidence to the contrary.

There is a quiet revolution going on around the preparations for the World Cup, a same-werking of different groups and individuals to make sure that we host the tournament in 2010 nomakanjani.

lTim Modise is the 2010 World Cup SA Local Organising Committee's head of communications. For your suggestions or check