With the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 now quickly becoming a distant - albeit very fond memory - the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa (OC) has quickly turned it's attention to preparing for the ‘big one' next year.
In his summary of the FIFA Confederations Cup, the Chief Executive Officer of the OC, Dr Danny Jordaan praised the South African public for the support they showed during the tournament.
"The FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 was embraced by everyone. By the rich and by the poor. By both black and white - this was our tournament and our hope for the future. This is what we want to see in this country," said Jordaan, commenting on how the diverse groups of South Africa came together during the two-week tournament won by Brazil on June 28.
With the FIFA Confederations Cup now memorably consigned to the history books, Jordaan and the OC have wasted no time in quickly intensifying their focus on the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.
"With the Confederations Cup now over, we look forward to 2010. It is important that we now concentrate on the completion of the stadiums as well as the other infrastructure projects leading up to 2010. It is also important that the buses and trains are completed in time. Then in December, we have the final draw for the World Cup, where we will finally see who will be playing who next year and where. From there on in, it is the final straight to the kick-off of the 2010 FIFA World Cup," said Jordaan.
The immediate priority for the OC is beginning the process to recruit the 15 000 volunteers from around the world who will be required during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The online application process kicks off on FIFA.com on 20 July 2009.
Although many lessons were learnt from the successful hosting of the FIFA Confederations Cup, Jordaan is under no illusion that the tournament pales in comparison to the 32-team 2010 FIFA World Cup next year.
"In terms of scale and complexity, the World Cup is very different to the Confederations Cup and we are therefore already well advanced in planning for the demands of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. However, the success of the Confederations Cup is confirmation that we as a country can host major events. Look at the British Lions rugby tour we are currently hosting and at the Indian Premier League cricket tournament which we hosted successfully, and now also the FIFA Confederations Cup. It's a good boost for our country," said Jordaan.