Fifa pleased with South Africa progress

Football's world governing body Fifa says the question of South Africa not hosting the 2010 World Cup should by now be forgotten.

Speaking during an exclusive update of the tournament at Soccerex '08 in Johannesburg today, Fifa general secretary, Jerome Valcke, pointed out there were still some issues to be resolved ahead of the first-ever global showpiece on the African continent, but the general feeling was positive.

"I think we should forget this question now," responded Valcke when he was asked about the possibility of another country stepping in.

"It's been a lot of work since May 2004 and I think there is still a lot of work until June 14, 2009 and the World Cup 2010.

"I think it's a lot of issues and we have to make sure we are working on them all the time. The main issues are security, transportation, accommodation, overlay; it's all what you need to host a World Cup.

"It's normal, because there is not a single country ready 18 months prior to the World Cup. When we had the Confederations Cup in Germany, it's where we discovered that lots of things were not working.

"There is no question that it was the right decision to bring the World Cup to South Africa."

Danny Jordaan, the CEO of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), who was on a three-man panel along with Valcke and Horst Schmidt, a consultant for the 2010 World Cup, added that his country had entitled problems, but they were trying to rectify them on an ongoing basis.

"Firstly, we are focusing on the Confederations Cup," he said. "These are existing stadiums, however there is still a gap between the existing stadiums and the event requirements.

"So we are focusing on that to make sure that by the end of December, all of the four stadiums for the Confederations Cup are fully compliant with all requirements for the event.

"Beyond that we have to go back to make sure of two issues, one the cost of the economic crisis that we have, the 10 per cent cost increase that we do expect, we have to deal with that issue.

"And then make sure all of the stadiums are complete by October next year and also then to focus on the final draw on December 4 next year.

"It is a complex overall project where the issues that you have to deal with on an emergency basis will shift from time to time.

"It maybe money, it may be a particular stadium, perhaps personnel, so we have to just focus, look at all the positives and make sure that you remain on track."

Casting his eye beyond 2010 and 2014, which will be hosted by Brazil, Valcke hinted that the 2018 tournament could well be given to a "rich" country from the first world.

He added: "I have a feeling that Germany tomorrow morning could host the World Cup. Because they have a very strong professional league, stadiums are ready, so there are a few European countries for sure will not have to spend as much money as South Africa is doing or as Brazil will have to do because there is not a single, what we call, World Cup stadium in Brazil.

"And they will have to provide us with these stadiums and work on them. Again, I have the feeling that there will be competition, I would say between five to eight countries, bidding for 2018.

"These will come from four confederations as Africa and South America will not have access to 2018. It will be potentially the so called rich countries, where there are already the infrastructure we need to host a World Cup."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?