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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 March 2008, 16:11 GMT
Another 2010 official resigns
The official 2010 World Cup logo
The 2010 World Cup organising structure has lost two officials

A top South African official responsible for co-ordinating government responsibilities towards hosting the 2010 Fifa World Cup has resigned.

Joe Phaahla, director-general of a government unit that oversees security, health, environmental and infrastructural preparations for the tournament will leave his post six months early on 31 March.

"I need time to sort out a number of private initiatives. I also need to attend to other responsibilities in the African National Congress (ANC), its executive to which I was elected in December," Phaahla said.

He headed the unit on a three-year contract that started in August 2005.

Sports Minister Makhenkesi Stofile has accepted Phaahla's resignation, said the government statement.

A replacement has yet to be announced.

"The resignation is bound to stir up renewed debate about friction within the Local Organising Committee (LOC)," said BBC Sport's Mohammed Allie in Cape Town.

Last month there were widespread reports of a rift between LOC chairman Irvin Khoza and chief executive Danny Jordaan.

However, Jordaan and Khoza have put up a united front, denying allegations of tension between them.

Also last month, communications head Tumi Makgabo resigned, officially citing a need to "focus on other projects".

Her colleague in the marketing department, Tim Modise, had also indicated his intentions to resign, but later changed his mind.

Sceptics have questioned South Africa's ability to host the continent's first-ever football World Cup.



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