Mutola gives 2010 thumbs up

WITH her massive experience in global sporting competitions, athletics legend Maria Mutola has given South Africa a big thumbs up to host a successful 2010 Fifa World Cup.

WITH her massive experience in global sporting competitions, athletics legend Maria Mutola has given South Africa a big thumbs up to host a successful 2010 Fifa World Cup.

"There is no shred of doubt that South Africa will put up the greatest soccer show in the world next year," said Mutola, a Mozambican, who is now based in Johannesburg.

In addition, Mutola, 37, expects Bafana Bafana to do well. She said the pressure was on the African teams to go beyond the quarterfinals.

Cameroon and Senegal are the only African teams to have reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup in 1990 and 2002 respectively. "South Africa has silenced many people who were under the impression that the country cannot deliver the stadiums.

"The world-class stadiums are now ready, which is a clear indication that Africa is also capable of hosting major international competitions.

"Having a successful World Cup will also help change the perception that other people have about Africa," she said.

Mutola, who now plays soccer for Luso Africa in the Safa Sasol League, has warned experts not to write off an African team winning the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

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