loc lauded

Safa has showered the Local Organising Committee team, led by chairman Irvin Khoza, with accolades for the sterling job in their preparations for the 2009 Confederations Cup and 2010 World Cup.

Safa has showered the Local Organising Committee team, led by chairman Irvin Khoza, with accolades for the sterling job in their preparations for the 2009 Confederations Cup and 2010 World Cup.

At its national executive committee meeting last Friday, the association said they were confident Khoza and Danny Jordaan, the chief executive of the LOC, will deliver on the mandate of the two successful competitions.

This was after Khoza and Jordaan made a presentation to Safa's highest decision-making body on the state of affairs in their preparations for the two eagerly-awaited competitions organised by Fifa.

In their presentations, Khoza and Jordaan touched on the developments surrounding the construction of new stadiums and upgrading of the existing ones in all nine host cities.

The duo also dealt with the budget allocations for the two competitions, ticketing, hospitality packages, transport, accommodation, safety and security and the recruitment of staff for the LOC.

They also explained the LOC board's decision to withdraw the new Nelson Mandela Bay Sports Complex from the Confederations Cup, though the municipality is appealing for an urgent review of the matter.

On the recruitment issue, Jordaan said they were working on a programme to include people involved in soccer in key positions to ensure the successful delivery of the two competitions.

The process has started with the employment of two Safa executive members, Mandla Mazibuko and Kirsten Nematendani, who will be in charge of the World Cup venues at Tshwane's Loftus Stadium and Peter Mokaba sports complex in Polokwane.

The Safa executive also asked for clarity on speculation that there were plans by Fifa to take the two competitions, in particular the money-spinning World Cup, away from SA to Brazil.

Sepp Blatter, Fifa president, has made it clear the World Cup can only be taken away from South Africa if there is a catastrophe, adding that they were happy with the job done by the LOC.

"We would like to thank the organising committee for a job well done and are also confident that South Africa will be able to stage great football competitions in 2009 and 2010," said Molefi Oliphant, Safa president.

Khoza said they were encouraged by the support from Safa and added that they still needed support of all South Africans to host the two competitions, which he promised would be a roaring success.

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