FIFA concert to go ahead despite boycott threats

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Johannesburg - The Local Organising Committee and FIFA say the FIFA World Cup Kick-Off Celebration Concert to precede this year's opening of the World Cup will go ahead as planned.

FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke said all the final preparations for the concert had been finalised, adding that there was no need for people to panic.

This comes as some local artists under the banner of the Communications Workers of South Africa union have vowed to boycott the event, and to call on the public to boycott the event, citing poor representation of the host country's musicians on the line up.

The concert will take place on 10 June in the newly remodeled Orlando Stadium.

But a clearly irritated Valcke has shot down the artists' claims.

"It's very sad that eight days before the event people are still raising these issues when everything was discussed and agreed on. It's very sad because as we said before this is an international event and we have tried to create a balance," Valcke said.

However, Organising Committee chairman Irvin Khoza said a meeting would be held with the concerned parties to iron out any differences that may still exist.

A few weeks ago a meeting was held between the Organising Committee board and Arts and Culture Minister Lulu Xingwana in a bid to resolve the matter. At the time it was announced that more local artists had been included in the list of performers.

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