After four days in South Africa meeting with key political leaders and visiting venues, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter held a press conference at the Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg - a venue for both the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 and the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. Blatter also announced that all workers will get two free tickets to a FIFA World Cup game in their stadium.
*On the courtesy visit to South Africa
*After having been at Soccer City and Ellis Park today in Johannesburg, and with all the guarantees and assurances given by the political authorities, I'm a happy man. Together we will make a great success of the FIFA World Cup. It's important that you promote this World Cup. Make banners! Put them up all over the world! The FIFA Confederations Cup - our dress rehearsal - is just around the corner. Sometimes I have the feeling that you are not outspoken enough. It will be good for the credibility of the country. You will be a proud nation after having hosted the competition.
On the host cities
We have met with the project managers from the different cities, because the venues and the stadiums will play a big role in this FIFA World Cup. The players and spectators will come to the country and to the cities and it's important that we have things in order.
On Ellis Park
I was here in 1993 during my first visit. It looked good at that time, and it still looks good today. For the FIFA Confederations Cup and the FIFA World Cup, you will have an exceptional stadium.
On the meeting with ANC President Jacob Zuma
With elections coming, we are not interfering with politics. But we must be assured that the guarantees we received are maintained.
On the South African National team
Its High Noon now for Bafana Bafana. The host nation needs a good team for this showcase. The talent is here, so bring it together now under the right direction and, for the Confederations Cup, you will have a strong team on display.
*On the workers in the stadium
*It's important for the workers to realise the importance of their work for the World Cup and their country. The tournament will be a major legacy for the Country. FIFA and the Local Organising Committee (LOC), together with our six FIFA Partners will offer to all 20,000 workers two free tickets for a match in their venue in recognition of the tremendous work they are doing. This is part of the 2010 FIFA World Cup ticketing fund, of which we will distribute 120,000 tickets for all 64 matches to less privileged South Africans who could otherwise not afford to be part of this historic event.
On security issues
We cannot reorganise your society, but we will make sure that security will be highest on the agenda and will remain as a legacy of this World Cup. We can use football to make the world better.
*On South Africa as a host nation
*A dream is coming true. In 1976 we started our development programs worldwide; this was the idea of Joao Havelange. He is now 93 years old and he told me recently: 'My last wish in life is to accompany you to the World Cup in South Africa in 2010. Then the circle of what we started is closed. We have done something for Africa.'
On the chances of the African participants in 2010
I hope that we can see an African team in the semi-finals. And if they get to the semis, then why not go to the final. But it will be difficult, as Africa has six representatives in the competition. Europe, for example, has 13 and thus has a much greater chance to advance. One day we should change that, but we'll do it step-by-step.