LOC assembles top talent as part of winning team

Recently, the Organising Committee of the 2010 World Cup introduced some of the new executives who unveiled the work and plans they have been involved in since joining the organisation.

Recently, the Organising Committee of the 2010 World Cup introduced some of the new executives who unveiled the work and plans they have been involved in since joining the organisation.

Two of them, Lesley Sedibe and Skumbuzo Macozoma had been with the Organising Committee for some time and their positions were respectively upgraded to head of the legal department and chief officer for transport and logistics in June this year.

They definitely are not from a football administration background but they are relatively young, experienced and top professionals that inspire confidence not only in the LOC but have done so remarkably with Fifa counterparts and other important stakeholders such as the national government and host cities.

Sedibe has been involved in advising host cities on a number of by-laws that they have to enact to facilitate the various activities that go with the delivery of the tournament.

Another critical activity he has been involved in is the formulation of the ticketing policy which includes the pricing structure, security features of the ticket as well as procedures to be followed when purchasing these tickets.

Macozoma has been very intimately involved in the development of the nation's transport plan and understands the various transport initiatives back to front.

Notwithstanding the fact that he has been a very involved policy maker and adviser to Minister of Transport Jeff Radebe, he was still willing to not only advise, but to run the transport planning of the Organising Committee.

The other two, Phumlani Mohodi, appointed chief officer for information technology and telecommunications, and Derek Carstens, who has been appointed chief officer for marketing, come from the private sector and bring extensive experience and leadership to the project.

I mention this because it may not be known to many people that Mohodi has been involved extensively in the roll- out and expansion of the infrastructure that is the backbone of one of the leading companies in the country, the MTN cellular network.

He also has been involved in running his own businesses in various sectors that include energy and electronics.

Within weeks of joining the organisation he quickly identified the priority projects in his space, engaged the relevant and main stakeholders that could support his projects and is involved in various discussions that will help provide generated power at the stadiums, appropriate technology for broadcasting as well as the establishment of the International Broadcasting Centre that will be home to over 20 000 media professionals from around the world come 2010.

Carstens has been involved in sponsorships and support for football in this country for over 10 years as brand director of FNB, one of the first national supporters of the World Cup.

So he knows a lot of issues around the marketing rights of the sponsors of the tournament as well as the promotional imperatives that go with marketing the Confederations and the World Cups.

He is on secondment from FNB and his company is already involved in a number of promotional activities that include the countdown clocks, ticket giveaways and the 2010 countdown TV show.

There are many more people I could single out as highly professional and committed to this project but space and context do not allow at this stage.

Suffice it to say that there are many experienced people of different races, cultures and professions who wake up every morning to make the preparations run smoothly.

Another small but very interesting detail about the management of the project is that the LOC has appointed a woman, Nomfanelo Magwentshu, as chief operating officer, to keep everything on course, and she is exceptionally good at getting everybody to comply.

The point here is that the successful delivery of the World Cup requires more than football administrators, it requires the best expertise that the country can find, especially in project management. Like the game of football, you need to assemble the best team to win.