sa fired up for a world cup boom

One of South Africa's chief organisers of the 2010 World Cup has lamented the "lack of excitement" across the host country ahead of the global football fiesta.

One of South Africa's chief organisers of the 2010 World Cup has lamented the "lack of excitement" across the host country ahead of the global football fiesta.

"The challenge is that not everybody has internalised the magnitude of this event," said Irvin Khosa, the chairman of the 2010 Fifa World Cup Local Organising Committee, on a radio interview to mark 500 days to go to staging the event.

"This World Cup should not be the World Cup of Irvin Khosa, Danny Jordaan [LOC chief executive], the LOC and the board. It is a World Cup for 45million South Africans.

"It is important that we all embrace this World Cup because it is our World Cup," he said.

"The committee believes that the anticipated economic boom the World Cup is expected to bring to South Africa will help the country cushion the effect of the current global financial crisis, Khosa said.

"In terms of taxes anticipated, selling of broadcast rights, tickets demand, we can only see a boom in this World Cup. It will help to mitigate what might have taken South Africa into recession mode," he said.

He said that the LOC planned to hold a key meeting yesterday with senior Fifa officials, including the body's general secretary Jerome Valcke.

The meeting will discuss a number of issues, including protocol concerns relating to the 2010 World Cup and the Confederations Cup to be staged in June in South Africa.

Mayors and representatives of all the country's nine 2010 Fifa World Cup host cities were to meet yesterday in Bloemfontein, Free State, for the national unveiling of the host city posters.

Bloemfontain's 48000-seat capacity Mangaung Stadium, currently under construction, is one of the 10 venues to be used for the World Cup. - Sapa-AFP

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