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Zuma: 2010 World Cup Bid farewell banquet (10/05/2004)

10th May 2004


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Date: 10/05/2004
Source: The Presidency
Title: J Zuma: 2010 World Cup Bid farewell banquet


Former President Nelson Mandela
The Minister of Sports and Recreation, Reverend Makhenkesi Stofile
Ministers of Education, Correctional Services, Home Affairs and The Presidency
2010 Bid Committee Chairman Irvin Khoza
Bid CEO Danny Jordaan
All members of the 2010 Bid Committee
Safa President Molefi Oliphant
Members of the South African Football
Association Executive
Captains of Industry and Commerce
Distinguished guests

On the eve of the important announcement of the country to host the Soccer World Cup in 2010, we have gathered, to bid farewell to our hard working Bid team.

As we send our delegation to this crucial assignment, we are confident of a positive outcome, and with good reason. We have over the last few years not sat on our laurels. We took the challenge of losing the 2006 Bid in our stride, went straight back to work, and delivered one of the biggest bid campaigns to convince the world that we are ready to host the 2010 tournament.

The sterling work so far done by the 2010 World Cup Bid Committee was only recently confirmed by a FIFA Technical Committee Report that pitched South Africa above the rest of the contenders from our continent. South Africa is the only African country with the potential to host "an excellent World Cup in Africa in 2010," said the report.

And the Technical Report further confirmed what every South African intimately knows, that sport in our country continues to build bridges by uniting the nation in the manner never before seen. This was apparent on every occasion that the many FIFA delegations visited our country during this campaign.

We are also especially blessed today, Distinguished Guests, to have Madiba in our midst and we are sure that the delegation we send today will be fully armed with the Madiba magic, whose wonders we have all seen. We are very grateful Tata for the support you have demonstrated and the many endeavours you continue to undertake on behalf of South Africa and all our people. As the first president of our democracy, you reminded us this morning at the Joint Sitting of Parliament that South Africa continues to inspire us "to celebrate our own demonstration of the capacity of human beings to progress, to go forward, to improve, to do better". As we celebrate both your life and your leadership, and a decade of democracy, we are certain that there can be no better gift to give you than securing the World Cup 2010 that today Africa and South Africa in particular deserves.

We therefore send this delegation to Zurich to promise FIFA and the world's soccer-loving nations a spectacular event in the true fashion, spirit, flair and vibrancy of the Rainbow Nation.

There is not a slightest doubt that South Africa is a truly soccer-loving nation, and we know that the masses of our people would fill up every stadium to capacity when the World's biggest football showpiece is brought to our shores.

The benefits of this prospect to our nation would be so enormous that we would take the whole evening, outlining what contribution hosting the World Cup would make to our programme of alleviating poverty, creating jobs and generally in social upliftment.

Not to mention the name we would have carved for South Africa and Africa in the global world, including the impact on the eradication of stereotypes and Afropessimism.

The economic spin offs of this tournament for the SADC region are enormous, and it will fit in with our objectives of working for the sustainable development not only of our country but that of our continent as well. Our victory is therefore the victory of our sister countries in this region as well.

Mr Irvin Khoza, Mr Danny Jordaan and the whole team have done exceptionally well once again in executing this crucial national duty. As you embark on the journey to Zurich this week, the whole of South Africa is fully behind you.

The South African flag will be anxiously waiting to hit the breeze, to fly higher and higher, as the much-awaited announcement is made in our favour on Saturday.

Our streets are waiting to come alive with excitement from Cape Town to Durban, Tzaneen to Kimberley, Port Elizabeth to Mafikeng, Nelspruit to Bloemfontein and Johannesburg.

Sinifisela inhlanhla! Sithi hambani zinsizwa niye e-Europe nibuye nayo!

I thank you.

Issued by: The Presidency
10 May 2004


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