Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • Europe launches navigation satellites to rival GPS

    Read more

  • Philippines to repatriate UN troops in Liberia over Ebola fears

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Iraqi Sunnis quit govt talks after mosque massacre

    Read more

  • US demands Russia withdraw aid convoy from Ukraine

    Read more

  • Rights group sues US government over ‘deportation mill’

    Read more

  • Colombian army and FARC rebels begin work on ceasefire

    Read more

  • US National Guard starts to pull out of embattled Missouri town

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • Fed Chair says US job market still hampered by Great Recession

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Zuma kicks off countdown to 2010 World Cup

Video by glady

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-12

South African President Jacob Zuma, who once played football while imprisoned under the Apartheid regime, kicked a ball into a crowd of construction workers at Green Point stadium to start the one-year countdown to June 11, 2010 World Cup.

REUTERS - South African President Jacob Zuma, who once played soccer as an apartheid prisoner, on Thursday started the one-year countdown to the 2010 World Cup and said its success would confound sceptics.

 

Zuma who both played and refereed football at the notorious Robben Island prison where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for two decades, kicked a ball into a crowd of construction workers at Green Point stadium to start the countdown to June 11, 2010.

 

"When we got it, people said you can't do it," said Zuma, referring to earlier widespread doubts that his country could pull off Africa's first World Cup.

 

"We have been travelling up and down and arguing all the time to proof the point that we'll make. We've made it," said Zuma, inaugurated as president only last month.

 

The brand new Cape Town stadium, still under construction, is one of 10 World Cup venues. Officials say all of them will be finished by December and the widespread earlier fears that South Africa would not be ready are now mostly muted.

 

Jerome Valcke, secretary-general of football's governing body FIFA, agreed South Africa was on track to host a successful tournament, despite concerns over the impact of the global recession and the country's fearsome record for violent crime, one of the worst in the world. .

 

He said it was now up to South Africa, which will deploy 41,000 police officers to protect fans and players, to meet the needs of foreign visitors.

 

"Security is an issue all around the world. I think... the World Cup in South Africa will be a great World Cup," Valcke told reporters at the stadium, as the sounds of a vuvuzela, a local trumpet used by football fans and one of the symbols of 2010, blasted out.

 

Organisers hope a boom in infrastructure spending for the competition and millions of dollars from foreign fans will help Africa's biggest economy dig out of its first recession in 17 years.

 

Date created : 2009-06-11

COMMENT(S)