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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 September 2006, 16:41 GMT 17:41 UK
Jordaan dismisses 2010 concerns
Danny Jordaan
Jordaan says there is no cause for alarm

South Africa is ahead of schedule and will be ready for the 2010 World Cup, according to a leading official.

The local organising committee's chief executive officer Danny Jordaan on Thursday dismissed claims that preparations were lagging behind schedule.

His comments came after criticism in recent weeks about South Africa's readiness to stage the tournament.

German legend Franz Beckenbauer this week claimed that the 2010 tournament was "beset by big problems".

Fifa president Sepp Blatter also revealed last week that he planned to visit South Africa shortly "to fire up the organising committee."

But Jordaan dismissed Beckenbauer's comments, saying his criticism was devoid of detail and there was no need to press panic button.

"He is not telling us what the problem is... We will write him a letter so that he can explain what the problem was about," said Jordaan.

Blatter also voiced concerns that construction and renovation of the 10 stadia due to stage the matches had yet to begin in earnest, saying that he had "yet to see the pickaxes and spades needed to start the work."

Jordaan, who said no firm date had been arranged for a meeting with Blatter, deflected suggestions that the stadia would not be ready for kick-off.

"We have the stadia, the infrastructure is in place and we also have the backing of Fifa and the government," he said.

"All of us will be working towards the success of the tournament."

Senior municipal officials in the nine host cities 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.

SEE ALSO
Beckenbauer issues 2010 warning
20 Sep 06 |  African
Blatter to fire up SA World Cup
16 Sep 06 |  African


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