President Zuma receives FIFA Confederations Cup trophy in Parliament
A special premiere took place today (9 June 2009) at the South African Parliament's National Assembly Chamber in Cape Town. For the first time in the history of the FIFA Confederations Cup, the trophy was received in the Parliament of a host country. FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke and the Chief Executive Officer of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa, Dr Danny Jordaan presented the trophy to the President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency President Jacob Zuma, following his reply to debate on his State of the Nation Address .The Parliament's presiding Officers, the National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu, National Council of Provinces Chairperson, Mninwa Mahlangu and the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Sports Butana Komphela were all part of the delegation that received the trophy. The FIFA delegation was received by all Parliament members singing the world acclaimed song, Shosholoza.
"I cannot ignore the fact that our country is abuzz with the forthcoming kick-off of the FIFA Confederations Cup. The visit of the trophy here today should inspire all of us to fill the stadiums! It is the first time in the history of our country that we will make football history and I am convinced that all South Africans will stand behind Bafana Bafana to make sure that now that we have been handed the Cup it will not leave again. Let us all go out and support the beautiful game", said President Zuma.
The "Festival of the Champions" begins on 14 June with the opening match between hosts South Africa and Asian Cup champions Iraq at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.
"I am really impressed to be here today with the trophy kicking-off the final lap to the FIFA Confederations Cup. I would like to thank, on behalf of FIFA, not only President Zuma, the government and the host cities for their exceptional commitment but all South Africans for their support. The FIFA Confederations Cup will be the first part of a beautiful story we write together", said the FIFA Secretary General.
16 matches in total will be played in the four host cities around South Africa in the curtain raiser for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. The final will be held at Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg on 28 June.
"The FIFA Confederations Cup is a South African affair while we are embracing the world. We are ready, the teams are arriving with all their stars, we look forward to the kick-off on Sunday when a long dream comes true. We are ready, the infrastructure is there, and it is unprecedented to have such a strong commitment from government", said Danny Jordaan.