SOCCER SA not happy with Aussies
Fri, 24 Nov 2006
South African World Cup organisers said on Thursday they had complained to Canberra over suggestions that preparations for the 2010 tournament are in trouble and Australia could fill the breach instead.
Danny Jordaan, head of the local organising committee, said that a letter had been sent to the Australian foreign ministry over recent remarks by several officials that what would be the first ever World Cup in Africa was in doubt.
"We find it totally unfair, especially if it is coming from a government official," Jordaan told AFP. "They have done it more than once."
Australia has already made clear it wants to host the 2018 tournament, but officials Down Under have also said they would be ready in four years' time.
Football Federation Australia chief John O'Neill said in September that "we've got to be ready to be absolutely opportunistic."
"There's all sorts of question marks about infrastructure or requirements in South Africa. Australia doesn't have those problems," he said.
The premier of New South Wales, Morris Iemma, has also infuriated officials in South Africa after stating that Australia has "the capacity to step into the breach at a moment's notice."
"If it can't come off with South Africa, and there are doubts that it can, then we are by far the best alternative," he was quoted as saying by Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper.
The News South Wales capital Sydney was the venue for the 2000 Olympics.
A spokesman for the South African foreign ministry said such comments were "totally unacceptable."
"We have been concerned about the negative comments and articles about the country's capability to host the event," Ronnie Mamoepa told AFP.
"There is no question about it. The event will be held in South Africa."
South Africa's preparations were given a vote of confidence on Wednesday by a visiting FIFA delegation, with one senior official saying they were further down the road than previous hosts Germany at a similar stage.
"FIFA is very happy and satisfied with the progress made," said Horst Schmidt, who is to take up a new post as FIFA's coordinator in South Africa.
First of all they want to take the RWC from New Zealand and now the soccer World Cup from South Africa. Is there no end to their arrogance? They are rapidly taking over from America in believing that they are the only ones who can do anything properly. The WC might not be the same as others in the past, but it will be a celebration of Africa!
Just because a country does not do something the way they do, does not mean it is wrong. If SA, as an African country does something in an African way, it celebrates our differences. If not the whole world might become as unexiting as a German soccer team (my apologies to German soccer players).