Its only 100 days left before the 2010 World Cup kicks off in South Africa and the national team’s success rests with their opening Group A match against Mexico at Soccer City on June 11.
Massive celebrations are underway across South Africa Tuesday as more locals are increasingly optimistic about the World Cup fortunes.
The 100-day countdown dominated South African media on Tuesday, with
almost every media outlet dedicating time and space for the milestone.
A survey released on Monday found that 85 percent are optimistic that the infrastructure set up for the month long tournament is ready for the games.
South Africa has poured R33-billion into preparations for the tournament, with the heavy construction already finished at all the stadiums.
In addition to the stadiums, major upgrades to airports in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Bloemfontein are complete, while Durban’s new airport is set to open on May 1.
FIFA says that 2.2 of the 2.9 million tickets have already been sold, even though fewer foreign fans are expected to attend.
But on the survey, 55 percent gave its “hot-and-cold” Bafana Bafana moderate chances during the tournament.
The assessment is slightly shared by chief Executive Officer of the 2010 World Cup Local Organizing Committee Danny Jordaan.
Jordaan is today quoted saying Bafana Bafana ‘need to get fit for the World Cup.
“It was unbelievable how unfit our national team were last year. That will change under Pereira. He knows what it takes to succeed at the World Cup as he has been there many times before.”
He said reaching the knockout phase of the World Cup would be a bonus for the squad but they have to get rid Mexico first.
“The match against Mexico holds the key… if we can beat Mexico, then
Bafana will be in business. We are still only ranked 81st by Fifa, but in front of 90 000 plus Bafana supporters on June 11 at Soccer City, anything will be possible” Jordaan said today.
On Wednesday Bafana Bafana will play lowly Nambia in an international friendly.
However, Jordaan said his countryman should celebrate the 100 days as South Africans have encountered a lot of skepticism on hosting the tournament “but today, as we celebrate this milestone, we can confidently say to the World that we will be ready”.
South Africans are being urged to ready themselves by wearing the green and yellow jersey of the Bafana Bafana, blowing vuvuzela trumpets and waving the national flag always.