Govt applauds all who made Confeds Cup a success

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pretoria - Government has congratulated all those who played a role in making the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup a resounding success.

"Government congratulates the 2010 FIFA Organising Committee and the broader FIFA family, all the teams that took part in the tournament, the volunteers, service providers, officials and the fans for contributing towards the success of the tournament," government said in a statement on Tuesday.

It also praised the people of South Africa who showcased their hospitality and spirit of ubuntu to international visitors.

"We also congratulate the football fans for coming out in large numbers throughout the two-week tournament to add colour, flavour and rhythm to the tournament," it stated.

Around 584 894 people turned up for this year's FIFA Confederations Cup, held in Johannesburg, Free State, Pretoria and Rustenburg, according to statistics released by the world football governing body, FIFA.

The success of the Confederations Cup puts all doubt to rest and reconfirms the inevitable that, indeed, South Africa will deliver a successful 2010 FIFA World Cup, for the first time on African soil, in a period of less than a year from now.

Despite a few incidents, particularly in relation to the transport system and minor reported incidents of crime, government's overall impression of the tournament is that it was a "runaway success".

Government has further applauded Bafana Bafana, for their impressive performance that saw them reaching the semifinals of the tournament.

"We congratulate the team and wish them well in their preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup," government said.

It added that the 2010 FIFA World Cup would provide the country with an opportunity to change international perceptions about the African continent and South Africa.

Government affirmed that the Confederations Cup had given soccer spectators from around the world a glimpse of South Africa's capacity to compete with the best in the world.

For the purpose of the Festival of Champions, only four of South Africa's world-class stadiums were used, which include the Coca Cola Park stadium in Johannesburg, Royal Bafokeng in Rustenburg, Loftus Versveld in Pretoria and Free State stadium in Bloemfontein.

"All these venues have passed the test with flying colours and we congratulate all host cities for their hard work," government said.

Government remains committed to delivering on all the guarantees for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The other remaining stadiums such as Soccer City in Johannesburg, Green Point Stadium in Cape Town, Peter Mokaba Sports Complex in Polokwane, Moses Mabhida in Durban, Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit are nearing completion while the stadium in Nelson Mandela Bay in Port Elizabeth has already been completed.

Government said it was confident that despite the global economic downturn, the 2010 FIFA World Cup will contribute positively to the country's economy and help South Africa attract more investment and grow tourism figures.