Only a major natural disaster will take the 2010 World Cup from South Africa, Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke has stressed.
Valckle assured South Africa after Tuesdays 2010 Local Organizing Committee’s Board meeting in Johannesburg. He said SA is on track and there will be no Plan B.
He was responding to media questions on a statement made by Fifa president Sepp Blatter in Vienna recently that Fifa had a Plan B should South Africa not be able to host the biggest sporting event on the world calendar.
“We (Fifa) are happy with the progress made by South Africa so far,” said Valcke.
“All the deadlines we set have been reached and met. We are confident that South Africa will be ready to host a hugely successful event in 2010.”
He stated that remarks made by Blatter during the recent Euro 2008 Championships were not meant as a threat to SA.
“The president (Blatter) made it clear that only a catastrophe would prevent South Africa hosting the 2010 spectacle. We had a problem in 2003 in China when an earthquake forced Fifa to move the Women’s World cup to the United States.
“Only that type of disaster will force Fifa’s hand on South Africa. One must realise that Fifa organise 20 world cups in four years.
“The main event is the men’s World Cup which is the diamond that pays for all the other events and we cannot allow anything to happen and lose out as the other tournaments which are mainly used for development of soccer will suffer.”
Last week , Local Organising Committee (LOC) chief executive Danny Jordaan said “ Only God can prevent South Africa from hosting the 2010 World Cup”.
“I have spoken to Blatter and he reaffirmed that only God can prevent South Africa staging the World Cup in 2010,”
Jordaan was furious over reports in the media quoting Blatter as saying he had a Plan B in case South Africa was not ready to host the 2010 showpiece.
On the country placed on Plan B, Valcke declined to disclose should South Africa suffer a major tragedy.
“There are only two people at Fifa who know the name of that country. One is the president and the other is me.
“I am not at liberty to disclose any details.”