'we trust you south africa'

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has once again said that soccer's world governing body has full confidence in South Africa to deliver the best-ever World Cup next year.

"We are convinced and Fifa is committed to Africa," said a clearly excited Blatter at the opening ceremony of the Confederations Cup at Ellis Park Stadium yesterday.

"Brothers and sisters, I would like to say thank you to the people of South Africa and Africa. The world of football trusts you, we have confidence in you Africa and South Africa."

Blatter has always maintained that South Africa will not disappoint the world and would present a spectacular World Cup.

The vociferous crowd erupted into wild celebrations when he introduced President Jacob Zuma, who officially declared the tournament open.

Zuma, who wished Bafana Bafana good luck at a training session at the rebuilt Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Saturday morning, said: "Today is not a day of speeches. The day is for us to enjoy the game. Ke Nako, I would like to declare the 2009 Confederations Cup open."

The South African supporters, many wearing Bafana colours, blew their vuvuzelas as Zuma, Blatter, Safa president Molefi Oliphant and other dignitaries met match officials and players from South Africa and their Iraqi opponents.

As expected, a tremendous number of white South African soccer fans pitched up in contrast with most PSL and international games, except when Western countries are involved.