Zuma ready to host SWC VVIP's

2010-05-23 22:18

Johannesburg - The Presidency on Sunday dismissed claims that they were not prepared to accommodate international heads of state and government officials at the World Cup opening ceremony.

"We have noted the misleading and grossly inaccurate report in the City Press... insinuating that arrangements have not been made for the invited heads of state and government to the Fifa World Cup tournament, especially the opening ceremony on the 11th of June," a statement from the Presidency said.

"Government has constantly stated its preparedness with regards to this tournament and we stand by that assertion."

The City Press reported on Sunday that President Jacob Zuma had invited more heads of state to the opening ceremony bash at Soccer City, than the venue could handle.

The newspaper said there were only 120 seats in the VVIP section of the venue and 600 in the VIP area, both of which have to be shared between government and Fifa officials.

"Some heads of state would have to be demoted to the VIP area as not all of them can be housed in the VVIP area," the article said.

Invitations to the opening ceremony had been extended to guests from America, South America and 52 African states, the City Press claimed.

However the South African government rebuked the claims, stating that everything had been organised for their guests.

"There is no diplomatic or logistical nightmare; we have put all systems in place for our guests," the Presidency said.

"All arrangements are being finalised to ensure the successful attendance of the Heads of State and Government and other VVIPs to the opening ceremony, including accommodation, seating arrangements, security, transport, logistics and protocol arrangements.

"All our guests and soccer lovers should expect an African feast of all times, and will treasure the memories of this World Cup for many years to come."

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