World Cup teams arrive in SA

Sunday, June 6, 2010
By: 
Kemantha Govender

Durban - Bafana Bafana's Group A rivals have all arrived in South Africa just four days ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The Local Organising Committee on Saturday welcomed France, Uruguay and Mexico. The Korean Republic team, hosts of the 2002 World Cup along with Japan, also arrived in the country.

LOC CEO Danny Jordaan said: "It is interesting that the three other teams in Bafana Bafana's group all landed. We would like to extend a warm welcome to France, Mexico and Uruguay who, even though they are up against the home team, will definitely find themselves very welcome in South Africa."

After taking on a more confident Bafana Bafana side next Friday, the Mexicans, based at the Thaba ya Batswana Hotel will play France in Polokwane and Uruguay in Rustenburg.

Jordaan added that Korea Republic is an inspiration to South Africa and it is an honour to have them in the country.

Korean Republic coach Huh Jung-Moo, who wants to cement the Asian nation's place among the football elite, said his men are very excited about being in South Africa.

"This is the third time I have been in South Africa, the players have long been preparing for the finals and they are happy to be here in South Africa to play at this World Cup. I hope they will be able to show what they are capable of and leave a giant footstep of Korean football at this tournament," said Jung-Moo.

The South Koreans, who will play their opening match against Greece in Port Elizabeth on June 12, are in good spirits and are being accommodated at the Hunters Rest Hotel in Rustenburg.

"The atmosphere within the group is good, they are training in a joyful mood and they are eagerly looking forward to playing in the finals. The morale is very high," Jung-Moo.

The Koreans will then take on South American giants Argentina and thereafter Nigeria in their final group match in Durban.

Meanwhile, Uruguay national coach Oscar Washington Tabarez wants to remain rooted in reality ahead of his side's opening clash against France in Cape Town.

"It's an immense joy to finally be where the World Cup is going to be played. Of course I dream about winning the cup, but speculating about the subject makes no sense. We will know our real level on the 11th of June, when we face France," said Tabarze.

Uruguay, staying at the Protea Hotel Kimberley, will then meet the World Cup hosts in Pretoria and move to Rustenburg to take on Mexico.

France, on the other hand, will have to travel from the Mother City to Polokwane to play Mexico and will then battle Bafana Bafana in Bloemfontein.

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