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  Tuesday, 4 February, 2003, 15:50 GMT
South Africa ready for the challenge
Durban will be one of South Africa's venues
Durban will host England v South Africa in May
South African FA Chief Danny Jordaan tells World Football's Alan Green he'll be working harder than ever to secure the games greatest event...

The race to host the World Cup in 2010 is provoking a huge response from World Football listeners.

We spoke to Segun Odegbami, the head of the Nigerian bid, a couple of weeks ago and his interview is still drawing your comments.

Kevin Afe in Nigeria says the country should sort out its problems at home before it thinks about staging the event. Shehu Yusuf, also in Nigeria, admires Segun Odegbami's patriotism, but believes that the man must know the plan is doomed to failure because Nigeria can't match the organisational skills of the other bidding nations.

Oseme in Morocco writes that the North should unite behind one bid to beat South Africa.
South African FA Head Danny Jordaan
'It's going to be difficult' - Danny Jordaan

And Youssou in Mozambique says that the only country the rest of the world will take seriously is South Africa, and Fifa will not entrust such a tournament to any other nation. So, we put some of these points to the man leading South Africa's charge to host the continents first world cup, Danny Jordaan.

He told me he was taking nothing for granted, despite coming so close for the right to host 2006.

"Its going to be difficult, because in football there are no guarantees" he said.

"We're going to have to work hard to convince Fifa that we are worthy of hosting the event and hopefully we will do that".

South Africa came within touching distance of being awarded the 2006 World Cup finals, only to lose out controversially to Germany, but Jordaan denied this would give them any advantage this time around.

"I don't think it would benefit anyone if the competition wasn't fair" he said.

"I think it will be. That's the nature of sport and we welcome that.

"How similar this bid is to 2006 depends on the Fifa requirements. I think there will be more demand for broadcasting, and also security.

"We don't know what the world will be like in a month, let alone in 2010".

One World Football correspondent had expressed concerns that, as many games would be played in rugby grounds, a World Cup in South Africa would only benefit the rugby infrastructure, but Jordaan denies this.

"We do have the infrastructure" he said. "We will of course make the necessary upgrades and we plan to build world class soccer stadia.

"Already many football clubs are becoming co-owners of the rugby stadiums. This is a world trend - using existing facilities as multi-purpose venues - and is something we encourage. The 1998 World Cup final was played in a rugby stadium after all!"
The Parc des Princes in Paris
The Parc des Princes hosted the 1998 final

Despite the most serious threats to South African success coming from the north of the continent, Jordaan wouldn't be drawn on the issue of the north/south divide in Africa.

"There is a strong competitive spirit" he said. "I don't think it's a divide. Of course I think the major competition comes from the north, particularly Morocco, and that will be the main threat.

"I am pretty confident, and I think the extent to which we can respond to Fifa's requirements will strengthen that belief".


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