Blatter: SA ready for SWC
Johannesburg - South Africa may be ready to host the Soccer World Cup finals, but Bafana Bafana have been warned they will not get past the first round if they keep failing to score goals.
Speaking at a video press conference from Zurich relayed to media in Johannesburg Friday, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke, stated South Africa would be ready to host the World Cup finals tomorrow if necessary.
“If the World Cup was to start tomorrow South Africa would be ready to host it. There are still one or two issues to be sorted out, but overall South Africa, the stadiums and all the infra-structures are ready,” said Valcke.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter, said he expected the World Cup to be a success but when asked about Bafana said he noted that again Bafana Bafana failed to score in a 0-0 friendly draw in Germany on Thursday with the Democratic Republic of Korea.
"The bottom line is no goals in the World Cup means South Africa will not go forward (after the first round).”
Bafana are in a tough group and host Mexico in the opening match at Soccer City on June 11, then they play two former world champions in Uruguay and France to complete their Group A programme.
The two top teams in the group advance to the second round.
Bafana were poor in their 0-0 draw against North Korea. They lacked urgency, commitment and national head Carlos Alberto Parreira’s decision to bring back strikers such as Katlego Mashego and veteran Siyabonga Nomvethe, has backfired.
Both had little to contribute against Korea when they came on in the second half.
Blatter also hit out at South Africa, Nigeria and Ivory Coast changing their coaches with seven months remaining to the World Cup.
Like South Africa, both Nigeria and Ivory Coast have hired new coaches recently.
Said Blatter: “ Changing coaches at the last minute is not helping Africa’s cause. Africa players individually are more talented that even Brazilians and Europeans, but they lack continuity and good tactics.”
Blatter said despite these problems he hoped one of the six African counties at the World Cup would reach the semi-finals.
Valcke admitted FIFA had made a mistake in their ticketing system for the event. There are 300 000 tickets remaining from the three million that went on sale at the start of the ticket sales.
But 200 000 were sold in eight days after over the counter sales were introduced on the country.
Said Valcke: “We thought by limiting sales of four tickets to a person we were on the right track. We realise mistakes were make and we will change the ticketing process at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
"We are flexible and have leant from out mistakes."
Valcke said at worst 95% of tickets would be sold. “We are still hoping to sell 100% but at this stage we expect to sell at least 95% of the three million.
"The fact we sold 200 000 in eight days gives us hope we will sell the remaining 300 000 in the next 10 days.”
Both semi-finals and final are already sold out.