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Page last updated at 14:06 GMT, Thursday, 1 July 2010 15:06 UK

World Cup 2010: South Africa 'has silenced doubters'

Danny Jordaan speaking at a press conference
Danny Jordaan is excited about the prospect of an Argentina-Brazil final

South Africa has silenced its pre-tournament critics, says World Cup organising chief Danny Jordaan.

He said that some football associations have even contacted him to apologise for comments made before the 2010 World Cup kicked off.

"It's wonderful that the doubters are the believers today," he said.

"Our worst critics have come forward and said 'you know what, we were wrong. This is an incredible experience for us'," added Jordaan.

Only 10 days and eight games remain in the tournament, which has already seen 56 games played across 10 venues.

Ghana is there still and we hope we will see the first African player to dance at the corner flag of a semi-final and final of a World Cup

Organiser Danny Jordaan

In the years running up to the competition, concerns were raised over the country's ability to safely run the world's most-watched sporting competition.

Jordaan says such criticisms have proved to be unfounded, and those responsible have come forward to congratulate his committee.

"One or two in fact apologised for saying all these things about the country, its people and about the World Cup," he said.

"It's very satisfying to us as a nation, it's not a personal thing. Affirmation is always good, affirmation of a country's ability to deliver helps."

One concern before the opening games was that if South Africa were to be knocked out in the group stages enthusiasm would quickly die down.

However, despite the hosts exiting at the group stages and all but one of Africa's competing nations having been knocked out - as well as the early departures of big teams like Italy, France and England - Jordaan insists the support and excitement is not waning.

"It is so in the World Cup, when one team drops out, their fans naturally go home," he said.

606: DEBATE

"But what happens then is that supporters from other teams come in, so that's how it is and how it will be."

Furthermore, the remaining African team, Ghana, are one game away from making World Cup history by becoming the first team from the continent to reach the semi-finals.

"The prospects are just amazing. We have the possibility of an African team going beyond the frontiers ever achieved by any African country," he said.

"Ghana is there still and we hope we will see the first African player to dance at the corner flag of a semi-final and final of a World Cup.

"We also have the possibility of a Brazil-Argentina final, which has never happened before. In terms of the world game, this is one of the biggest international matches."



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see also
Adebayor hails World Cup
22 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
South Africa 'made nation proud'
23 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Police guard SA arenas for strike
15 Jun 10 |  Africa
SA police defend security plans
09 Apr 10 |  Football
Team tracker and Predictor
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010


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