Durban, 2 March 2010 – As South Africa today celebrates 100 days until the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, it is a time to reflect on the progress the country has made since first winning the right to host the FIFA World Cup™.
“As we mark 100 days to the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, we do so with immense pride. We are proud because, in many respects, we are able to pronounce ourselves ready to welcome the world three months ahead of schedule,” said the Deputy President of South Africa, Kgalema Motlanthe.
“On 15 May 2004 we were in Zurich and I was sure when I opened the envelope that it would be South Africa, and it was. When Nelson Mandela took the trophy that night he said that a dream had come true. Together we can do this,” said FIFA President Joseph Blatter, speaking of the night South Africa was awarded the hosting rights.
For the Chief Executive Officer of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa, Dr Danny Jordaan, the 100 day milestone is as much a celebration of the work achieved as it is the expectation of the world’s greatest football event.
“We have come a long way since our name was pulled out the envelope in 2004. The hard infrastructure work has been largely completed. Our stadiums will be ready to host the fans and teams and our airports will be ready to welcome the influx of visitors. For the next 100 days it is the people of South Africa that need to prepare for the celebration that awaits them. As South Africans we have encountered a lot of skepticism but today, as we celebrate this milestone, we can confidently say to the World that we will be ready,” said Jordaan.
The celebrations in Durban are the culmination of a four day long tour of all the stadiums and Host Cities with a contingent of 100 journalists, accompanied by Jordaan and FIFA Secretary General, Jerome Valcke. The tour started on Friday 26 February with a tour of Johannesburg’s two stadiums – Soccer City and Ellis Park – and ends today with a tour of Durban stadium.
“Over the last few days we have travelled across the country to see the level of preparation for the World Cup and what we have seen gives me the confidence that in 100 days the only concern that the teams and fans will have is who will lift the trophy on 11 July 2010. I congratulate the Host Cities on the hard work they have put in over the last few years to make sure they are ready for the tournament. What I can say to them is that the hard work has paid off – we stand today with 100 days to go until the World Cup and today is the day that we can celebrate the hard work and the people that have contributed to our World Cup success,” said Jordaan.
Issued by the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa Communications Department
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