Organizers of the recently concluded Confederations Cup have expressed
satisfaction over host South Africa's preparations for the football
tournament. But they say the country still faces challenges as it
prepares for next year's World Cup. The assessment came one day after
the end of the competition.
The head of the football world's governing
body, Sepp Blatter of FIFA, Monday gave the South African Organizing
Committee a score of 7.5 out of 10 for its work on the just concluded
Committee with Danny Jordaan as the Chief Executive have done a very
good job," Blatter said. "The hospitality, the reception by the population of all the
delegates coming from around [the world] has been really remarkable."
He said he expects the score to rise by December when the draw for next year's World Cup is held.
Secretary-General Jerome Valcke said the Confederations Cup, which
ended Sunday with Brazil's victory over the United States, showed that
certain areas needed attention. But he added that FIFA felt these
problems could be addressed by next June when the World Cup kicks off.
the park and ride has not worked. Yes, the media shuttle system has not
worked. Yes, the signage has not worked. Yes, it was difficult to come
in and out of the stadiums," said Valcke. "And we have to take into consideration that
hundreds of thousands of people will come to South Africa for the World
Cup. But there is not a single issue where we have the feeling that 11
months will not be enough to solve [the problems]," he continued.
fans waited for hours for public transportation to their cars after
some of the earlier matches. And FIFA's hospitality partner says it
still lacks 15,000 of the 55,000 rooms it needs for next year's World
Nevertheless, organizers note that the 10 stadiums being
built or refurbished for the World Cup are on schedule and the much
discussed issue of security had been laid to rest.
two burglaries at team hotels during their matches, no security
incidents were reported related to the Cup. Fans and players praised
South Africans for their hospitality and enthusiastic support for the
About 550,000 people attended the 12 matches of
the tournament which is seen as a trial run for the much larger World
The head of the local organizing committee, Danny Jordaan,
said the Confederations Cup had also made strides toward ending one of
the legacies of apartheid when sports were separated along racial lines.
event has...introduced the most mixed, most diverse spectators
or audience of any sporting event in this country. And that is a huge
contribution that this Confederations Cup has made," Jordaan said.
World Cup has also provided an impetus for the South African government
to upgrade football facilities and community sports which were also
neglected under apartheid.
FIFA expects the World Cup to contribute $7 billion to the South African economy and create more than 400,000 jobs.