CAF pleads with media to punt 2010

ACCRA - The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has pleaded with the media covering different beats on the continent to rally behind the 2010 World Cup Local Organising Committee in the promotion of the tournament.

Issa Hayatou, CAF's president, said it was important for the success of the historic quadrennial tournament to get the support from all Africans on the continent and globally, especially those involved in the media.

Hayatou, who is also the chairman of the Fifa World Cup organising committee, was addressing media practitioners at a workshop at the Accra International Convention Centre last Friday aimed at updating the scribes on the continent on the requirements of the World Cup.

"The African media have to work hard to make sure that the voice of Africa is heard in as far as the 2010 World Cup is concerned," Hayatou said.

"We need to start writing more on the tournament so that the whole world can see that we are ready.

"The media people across the world have a lot of influence.

"We should use that influence to keep the whole world up to date about the developments surrounding the World Cup.

"I have no doubt that we are ready as Africa to stage the tournament. It will be a great tournament, successful on and off the field."

Hayatou commended the South African Local Organising Committee for a great 2010 World Cup preliminary draw in Durban in November, which he described as one of the best soccer events globally.

"We should not be like Europeans," he said, punting an African World Cup.

"They (Europeans) were highly impressed with what they saw in Durban at the preliminary draw."

Also present at the four-hour workshop were Fifa 2010 World Cup delegate Emmanuel Maradas, Fifa media representative in South Africa Alain Leiblang and LOC media representative Jermaine Craig.

Leiblang said Fifa wants to see more African journalists being part of the World Cup.