Algerians honour Safa

In a rare feat for a soccer federation, the South African Football Association is the winner of the coveted Golden Ball Award.

In a rare feat for a soccer federation, the South African Football Association is the winner of the coveted Golden Ball Award.

The prestigious citation is pioneered by two of Algeria's major newspapers, Le Buteur and El Haddaf.

The award is traditionally presented to players who excel on the field of play and demonstrate leadership qualities. But this time around the organisers decided to honour Safa for bringing the 2010 Fifa World Cup to Africa for the very first time in the history of the game.

Reacting to the news, Raymond Hack, Safa's chief executive, said the people of Algeria had demonstrated the true spirit of the African Renaissance.

"Throughout our bidding process, starting from the 2006 World Cup bid to the 2010 one, we have emphasised that Africa is a theatre and South Africa a stage in hosting the Fifa World Cup, and we are pleased to see African countries participating in programmes relating to the 2010 Fifa World Cup," said Hack.

The award will be presented to Safa by the prime minister of Algeria at a gala dinner in Algiers on December 17. The 2010 Local Organising Committee will seize the opportunity to conduct a presentation on the state of South Africa's readiness, to the high-profile guests in attendance, among them ambassador Super Moloi, members of the Algerian Football Federation and government officials.

Hack added: "We convey our gratitude to the AFF and Le Buteur and El Haddaf for this wonderful gesture." - Sowetan

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