Smiling and at ease, South African President Jacob Zuma told reporters at Wembley Stadium on Thursday that his country was “ready, if not more than ready” to host the first World Cup on African soil.
On his first state visit to the United Kingdom, Zuma took time away from his official duties to visit the home of English football and reassure the world that the host was on track for a successful event.
“As a country we have worked hard to ensure that the World Cup comes to South Africa, and it is coming,” he said.
“We can say now without fear of contradiction that we are ready, if not more than ready, to receive those who come to South Africa.”
Relaxed and making jokes, Zuma pointed out the government ministers that had accompanied him on his visit.
Many of them wore bright scarves with the red, blue, green and yellow of the South African flag as they sat among the media.
“We are a team here,” Zuma said.
Minister of police Nathi Mthethwa will likely be one of the busiest of the group as concerns over safety and security at the tournament later this year were inevitably raised.
Zuma was quick to respond. “It is expected that people will have concerns but we have worked very hard on the World Cup and that has included the question of safety … the fact is we have brought down crime already,” Zuma said.
Source: IOL, 20100305
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