LOC all smiles

All reports by Ramatsiyi Moholoa

All reports by Ramatsiyi Moholoa

The Local Organising Committee is impressed with the overall preparations for the 2009 Confederations Cup and 2010 World Cup.

This was said by Irvin Khoza, LOC chairman, at a World Cup gala dinner in Parys, Free State, on Saturday during an update on their preparations.

"Infrastructurally, we are ahead of schedule. We need the support of all the South Africans in all our preparations.

"The World Cup is an event that is equal to none. South Africa will receive the biggest public relations ever because of the 64 games that will be played," Khoza said.

"South Africa will be exposed globally because of the World Cup. CNN International will dedicate the whole of next week to South Africa's World Cup readiness. Expect every global channel to follow suit in the build-up to the tournament. They will look at everything that has to do with the preparations for the tournament, like hospitality, safety and security, transport and road infrastructure."

Khoza urged South Africans to rally behind the LOC to ensure that the country delivers on its promise to deliver a successful Confederations Cup and World Cup.

"Tourism will be one of the most important aspects during the World Cup.

"We have to make sure that when people who will be here for the World Cup think about South Africa, they must come back."

On the issue of legacy projects, Khoza said the LOC has established a committee chaired by Makhenkesi Stofile, minister of sport and recreation.

He said the World Cup will be played at 10 venues, but non- hosting areas will also benefit by hosting base camps and training venues.

The legacy committee is helping communities to have proper playing facilities, in the development of the game and by setting up proper structures to run soccer.

Dealing with Bafana Bafana's poor run, Khoza said it was critical for South African soccer players to start going to serious leagues in the world.

"Countries like Mali, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Tunisia, Cameroon and Ghana are doing well because their players are in competitive leagues in the world."