South African president Thabo Mbeki says that fears regarding the countryâ€™s financial and logistical ability to host the World Cup 2010 were untrue.
The comments were made following a 2010 World Cup preparation meeting on Saturday in Germany where Mbeki, his cabinet ministers, South African organizing committee CEO Danny Jordaan all acknowledged their responsibilities as they take over preparation plans, according to media reports.
With the close of the World Cup on Sunday, preparations for the 2010 event will commence with full force.
President Mbeki said that South African organizing officials have engaged with soccerâ€™s worldwide governing organization, FIFA, regarding what is expected of the host country, including financial guarantees.
He said the country was convinced it could satisfy all the requirements, adding that all the financial calculations had been done.
The event marks first time the continent holds such a high profile event. There has been some skepticism surrounding South Africaâ€™s bid to host the event, especially with regard to the countryâ€™s high crime rates, lack of adequate infrastructure â€“ especially in transportation â€“ and a lack of accommodations.
The country has budgeted $770-million (R5, 5-billion) towards stadiums. Existing stadiums will be upgraded, and new ones will be constructed in Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Polokwane and Mpumalanga.
A further $1, 12-billion (R8-billion) will be used towards the improvement of airports, roads, electricity and its public transport system.
Mbeki said that this year's budget already contained provisions for the World Cup.
Jordaan went on to say that it is important for the African continent as a whole that this project succeeds, adding that this will be an image makeover for the continent.