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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 September 2006, 11:47 GMT 12:47 UK
Blatter to fire up SA World Cup
Fifa president Sepp Blatter
Blatter wants work on the 2010 World Cup to start by the end of the year

Fifa president Sepp Blatter will visit South Africa shortly to urge lawmakers to speed up building work for the 2010 World Cup, amid growing concern about delays.

Blatter said he would meet South African President Thabo Mbeki and make an appeal to the country's parliament "to explain the value of the World Cup and to fire up the organising committee, because it's the last moment to start building five stadiums.

"For the moment they have plans, money, and decisions, but I have yet to see the pickaxes and spades needed to start the work," Blatter said.

A Fifa spokesman was unable to give a date for the planned visit by the delegation from world football's governing body.

Blatter hoped that the work would get underway before the end of the year, and said the South Africans had to be trusted.

The Fifa chief also advised the South Africans not to take up offers of help from British, French, German, or other experts involved in organising previous World Cups.

"If there are too many cooks, it spoils the broth," he commented.

Senior municipal officials in the nine cities which are to host the 2010 World Cup accused the South African government and lawmakers last month of hampering their preparations.

The officials told a parliamentary committee they were still in the dark about the amount of money they would receive for the tournament.

They also complained that legislation on tendering contracts threatened to derail their organisation efforts.

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