LOC poised to raise the bar

All reports by Ramatsiyi Moholoa

All reports by Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Following the resounding success of the 2010 World Cup preliminary draw in Durban, the Local Organising Committee intends raising the bar with the 2009 Confederations Cup draw.

The draw for the eight- nation tournament takes place on November 22 and 23.

Danny Jordaan, the LOC's chief executive officer, said the draw would either be in Rustenburg or Johannesburg, but a final decision was still to be taken.

The matter is likely to be discussed at the next board meeting on April 29 and 30, which will be attended by Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke.

Though no decision has yet been taken on the possible venue in Johannesburg, Sun City is also said to be targeted.

Jozi is already earmarked for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2010 World Cup finals at Soccer City and the International Broadcasting Centre will be at the nearby Nasrec Expo Centre.

The Confederations Cup might come in handy for North West after losing out on the opportunity to host the World Cup finals draw.

It will be in Cape Town on December 4 2009.

"We are engaged in negotiations with various stakeholders regarding the Confederations Cup draw venue," said Jordaan.

"We plan to put a great show that will impress the whole world, as you are aware that winners from all the continents will be here," said Jordaan.

Kennedy Mosiapoa, the North West government's World Cup coordinator, said: "We made it clear that we are interested in all the high-profile events.

"I will check with my superiors on the Confederations Cup. It will also be a golden opportunity to put North West on the international map ahead of the World Cup.

"The other problem with the 2010 World Cup finals draw is that it will take place more or less the same time as the Nedbank Golf Challenge."

During the Confederations Cup, Africa will be represented by Bafana Bafana as the hosts and newly crowned Africa Cup of Nations champions, the Pharaohs of Egypt.

Other countries who have qualified are Italy as the reigning World Cup holders, Asian champs Iraq, the United States (Concacaf), Brazil (Conmebol) and New Zealand (Oceania).

The last team will be decided at the Euro 2008 Cup in Switzerland and Austria in June, where the LOC are planning to send some of their members and volunteers on a learning mission.

"The Confederations Cup will be a great tournament where big names such as Brazil and Italy will play, that is why we need to make sure we get the best venue," Jordaan added.