Parliament scores goal ahead of Confed Cup

THE Fifa Confederations Cup vied for attention with President Jacob Zuma yesterday when he replied to the debate in the National Assembly on his State of the Nation address.

THE Fifa Confederations Cup vied for attention with President Jacob Zuma yesterday when he replied to the debate in the National Assembly on his State of the Nation address.

The intercontinental cup was on display in the house for the duration of Zuma's speech, while Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke and 2010 local organising committee head Danny Jordaan watched from the gallery.

In a statement afterwards the ANC parliamentary caucus said it appreciated and welcomed "this important gesture by the two institutions, as both football and Parliament belong to the people".

Earlier, ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga moved a motion observing that the Confederations Cup tournament would serve as an indication of how well South Africa had planned for next year's World Cup.

"The most important thing in sport is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle," he said.

"The essential thing is not to have conquered, but to have fought well.

"We welcome all soccer teams that have converged on our shores and wish them well in their stay in our country."

During a brief ceremony in the assembly to "welcome" the cup at Parliament, Zuma said the delegation and the cup's presence was a clear indication that the 2010 World Cup was nigh and "only South Africa will host it".

Zuma said he was certain Bafana Bafana were "aware of the importance of ensuring that the cup remains in South Africa".

The ANC caucus urged South Africans to attend the matches in great numbers to ensure the success of the prestigious event and that of national soccer team Bafana Bafana.

The tournament kicks off 361 days before the Fifa World Cup. - Sapa

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