Blatter praises SA

TAMALE - Fifa president Sepp Blatter has once more commended South Africa on their preparations for the 2010 World Cup.

The highly influential Blatter, who is in Ghana for the 26th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations finals, said he is, more than ever, convinced that South Africa will host one of the greatest tournaments in its history.

Accompanied by European Football Association president Michel Platini, Blatter arrived in Ghana last week. He attended the Confederation of African Football (CAF) congress in Accra on Wednesday and Thursday.

Blatter said he was briefed by the Local Organising Committee on a regular basis about the preparations for the 2009 Confederations Cup and the World Cup, adding that he was delighted that everything was moving in the right direction.

"I'm certain that South Africa will host a magnificent World Cup. I have every confidence in the Local Organising Committee and the South African government."

He also used the visit to urge Issa Hayatou, the CAF president, to work closely with the member countries to mobilise for the return of African players to represent their countries in various official tournaments and friendlies.

During his meeting with Ghanaian president and African Union chairman John Kufuor on Saturday, the Fifa president praised the West African country for providing world-class facilities for the 16-nation Afcon, including building four stadiums.