African Press International (API)

"Daily Online News Channel".

South Africa seeks change in World Cup rules

Posted by African Press International on April 12, 2007

London (UK) South Africa has intensified lobby with the world football governing body, FIFA, seeking a change in World Cup rules to allow visiting teams to be based in neighbouring countries during the 2010 finals.

Answering questions from journalists in London Thursday, Danny Jordaan, chief executive of the World Cup 2010 organising committee, remarked that other African countries should be actively involved in the continent’s first ever World Cup.

“This is Africa’s World Cup and we are making a special case to FIFA for a change in the rules,” Jordaan said.

This development has further confirmed earlier warning by soccer analysts who expressed worries that visitors and football fans could be priced out of the world cup as South Africa is under pressure of accommodation crisis fuelled by European estate agencies and African elite who rush in droves to buy houses in the country.

FIFA’s existing rules allow the visiting teams set up training camps outside the host country with certain conditions which stipulate that such bases would not be farther than 90-minute plane journey to the venues of the matches.

Jordaan said organisers had asked FIFA to consider allowing teams to stay at bases in neighbouring countries and travel to South Africa on the day before their matches.

This puts Mozambique and Swaziland as major potential camps for most of the European teams.

“We believed FIFA would be sympathetic to the proposed rule change”, said Jordaan, who also estimated that over 650,000 overseas visitors and fans would storm South Africa for the finals.

Officials said that FIFA is yet to give a feedback on the lobby.

Commenting on the preparations on the ground for the event, Jordaan emphasised the security issues and the need to take into account the problem of black market and cheap match tickets as was the case in Germany 2006 where hundreds of fans were ripped off with such fake tickets being resold to them at exorbitant prices.

“We are also looking at employing the use of fan parks with big screens for the interest of less privileged supporters without match tickets,” he said.

Published by Korir, African Press in Norway, apn, tel +47 932 99 739 +47 6300 2525 source.apa

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