Blatter gives 7.5 points out of 10 to Confederations Cup organisers


JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Reuters) – FIFA president Sepp Blatter gave organisers of the Confederations Cup a mark of 7.5 points out of 10 yesterday.

However, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said transportation, security and other problems must be overcome before next year’s World Cup finals in South Africa.

Blatter told a news briefing he was impressed by the football and most of the organisation at the two-week tournament which ended with Brazil beating U.S. 3-2 in the final on Sunday.

“I would say you (the organising committee) are at 7.5 out of 10,” said Blatter. “I hope you will be 8 out of 10 by the time of the draw (for the finals in Cape Town in December) and 10 out of 10 when the World Cup starts.

“But right now you have to do a little bit more.”

He said there were transportation problems linked with accommodation adding, “we do not intend just to hide behind compliments because South Africa is expecting 450 000 visitors next year from all around the world and they are going to need somewhere to sleep”.

Valcke said soccer’s governing body FIFA was aware of the problems still to be solved.

“On top of the list, transportation is an issue. Accommodation is an ongoing problem as is security,” he said.

“We have a Task Force working together helping on the organisation of the World Cup and in 11 months we will deliver a perfect system.

“There is no way we can give you a list of all the things that still have to be done. Yes, the Park-and-Ride has not worked, the media shuttle has not worked, the signage has not worked,” added Valcke.

“It was difficult to come in and out of the stadium and we have to take into consideration the hundreds of thousands of people coming for the World Cup. But there is not a single issue which we do not think we can solve in the next 11 months.”

Danny Jordaan, chairman of the local organising committee, said the Confederations Cup, a test event for the World Cup, had brought together all elements of society in South Africa in a way that had never happened before.

However, he said the World Cup was now sharply in focus.
“Celebrations for a successful Confederations Cup should be short,” he said.

“The competition is over and this is the first day of the World Cup. We will now bring the other host cities on board and focus on the other issues like the draw and the finals.”

The draw will be on December 4, with the World Cup beginning on June 11 next year and ending on July 11.