DREAM COME TRUE
LOCAL Organising Committee chairperson Irvin Khoza has showered Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke with accolades for ensuring that South Africa's dream of hosting a successful 2010 World Cup has become a reality.
Khoza was speaking at the opening of the World Cup team workshop in Sun City yesterday. The event was attended by representatives of the 32 clubs that have qualified for this global soccer spectacle.
Top coaches who were present included England's Fabio Capello, Dunga of Brazil, Vicente del Bosque of Spain, South Africa's Carlos Alberto Parreira, Carlos Queiroz of Portugal, Milovan Rajevac of Ghana and Vahid Halilhodzic of Ivory Coast.
"Valcke not only seems to attend every meeting (of the LOC board of directors), he is also a person at the centre of every meeting where he ensures that everything happens," Khoza said.
"Jerome, as Africans, we recognise the critical part you are playing to ensure that our great dream becomes a reality in June and July," said Khoza, who also mentioned the roles played by Issa Hayatou and Danny Jordaan in the World Cup preparations.
Hayatou is the president of the Confederation of African Football and the Fifa World Cup organising committee chairperson, with Jordaan serving the LOC as its chief executive.
Addressing the representatives of the teams, Khoza said: "We recognise how hard you have worked to be here, we will provide you and your teams with a perfect platform to play the beautiful game and thrill the watching audience of billions around the globe.
"We have a perfect platform with outstanding facilities, effective structures and systems that will facilitate your participation.
"It's a platform founded on traditional African hospitality, joy and enthusiasm to create an unforgettable month.
"Never before has the hosting of a major sporting event meant so much to a host country and a host continent. So many Africans have been dreaming of this moment for so long, so many Africans are working hard to ensure the first Cup on our soil unfolds as a success in every respect."