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Fifa calls for 2010 promotion

Jerome Valcke
Valcke is unhappy with South Africa's tournament promotions

World football's governing body Fifa has called on South Africa to do more to promote this year's Confederations Cup and the 2010 World Cup.

"I have not seen a single promotion for the Confederations Cup and also not a single one for the World Cup," Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke told a news conference in Johannesburg.

"It is impossible to bring people to the stadium if we do not promote the Confederations Cup."

The eight-team tournament, featuring the likes of Brazil, Spain and world champions Italy and which is seen as a dry run for the World Cup, takes place between 14-28 June.

Yet with just three months to go, Danny Jordaan, the chief executive officer of the World Cup Organising Committee, criticised what he saw as a lack of enthusiasm in the country.

"There is only one country that will host this World Cup and that is South Africa. Yet you find countries like Canada, Australia are more enthusiastic it seems than our own South African population," he said.

"The same situation applies for the Confederations Cup."

Although 646,000 tickets are available for the tournament, which will be staged in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Bloemfontein and Rustenburg, only 170,000 have been sold so far.

"The Confederations Cup is an important appetiser for the World Cup, (but) the rate at which South Africans are buying tickets is very slow," said Irvin Khoza, chairman of the local organising committee.

"South Africans must ensure that they fill the stadium so that they are given a test before the World Cup."

South Africa's government hopes the World Cup, the first to be held in Africa, will bring in millions of dollars and give the country a higher profile.

The readiness of the stadiums and infrastructure for the World Cup has come under scrutiny but Fifa President Sepp Blatter said in December there was "no plan B".

The South African government has pledged to beef up security for the tournament, hoping to ease concerns over one of the world's highest rates of violent crime.

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