Premier praises Valcke for steadfast support

KWAZULU-NATAL Premier Zweli Mkhize yesterday praised Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke for his unwavering support of and belief in South Africa as host of the World Cup.

KWAZULU-NATAL Premier Zweli Mkhize yesterday praised Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke for his unwavering support of and belief in South Africa as host of the World Cup.

Speaking in Durban during the official handing over of the state-of-the-art Moses Mabhida Stadium to Fifa, Mkhize hailed Valcke for his support. "I must take this opportunity to thank Valcke for his confidence in our country that it will host the most successful tournament," he said.

"With all the reports, doubts and questions about whether South Africa was ready to host this tournament, Valcke always stood firm behind the country and today his belief in us is finally paying dividends."

The premier added that because of Valcke's unconditional support, tears have been wiped off the faces of many soccer fans.

Local Organising Committee chief executive Danny Jordan said he believed Durban's infrastructure would be ready before kickoff. He was referring to the continuing repairs around the beaches.

"We base our belief on track records. The city has in the past delivered on every major event, not only this one. If you look at the airport (King Shaka International) to roads and infrastructure you can see that things are looking good," Jordaan said.

When asked what he would tell his daughter one day about the hosting of the World Cup, Jordan said: "I will tell her that whatever she dreams of, she must pursue with courage and determination.

"I will tell her that the road to success is not always straight, but is a bumpy one, as are projects of this nature."

Valcke announced that 150000 tickets would go on sale this Friday.

"There are very limited numbers as they are for all the matches, so people must rush to the selling centres from 9am."

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