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Fifa medical chief 'satisfied'

2010 World Cup logo
Fifa's medical chief is happy with South Africa's 2010 preparations

The Fifa medical team is satisfied with South Africa's arrangements for the Confederations Cup in June and the World Cup next year.

"My impression is positive," said Fifa chief medical officer, Jiri Dvorak.

Dvorak added: "I am confident with what I have seen and heard."

"I am personally confident that we can hold the World Cup from the medical side," he said.

Dvorak is also chairman of Fifa's Medical Assessment and Research Centre.

He said that he discussed strategies to combat doping during the competitions with SA 2010 organisers.

These will include the education of players and collaboration with local officials and anti-drug agencies.

A doping laboratory for testing has been set up in the central city of Bloemfontein where results could be produced within 24 hours.

The 48,000-capacity Mangaung Stadium in Bloemfontein is one of 10 venues for the World Cup.

"Ten players per team will be controlled (tested) unannounced" during the competitions, Dvorak said, adding that Fifa had not recorded any football doping cases since that of former Argentine football star, Diego Maradona, during the 1994 World Cup in the United States.

"I am absolutely impressed. It is absolutely brilliant what the local people have done," Fifa executive member and chairman of the Fifa medical committee, Dr Michel D'Hooghe, said in his assessment of the medical preparations.

The general medical officer of the FIFA local organising committee, Dr Victor Ramathesele, said that South Africa was "ready to deliver this World Cup".

"We are promising comprehensive medical facilities for all visitors to the 2010 World Cup and the Confederations Cup. We want to use the the tournaments as a catalyst, a stimulus for economic development."

Peter Fuhri, director of the World Cup 2010 unit in health department, said that South Africa will meet its commitments to FIFA and leave a legacy behind after the competitions.

About 700 ambulances have been purchased to date, while efforts are being made to improve emergency services, hospitals and the training of medical personnel.

"We will not be found wanting," Fuhri concluded.

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