The question of whether or not South Africa will be prepared to host the 2010 World Cup should now be forgotten, according to a leading FIFA official.
Speaking at Soccerex '08 in Johannesburg Monday, FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valckesaid that although there were still some issues to be resolved, the general feeling was positive. "I think we should forget this question now," Valcke replied when asked about the possibility of another country stepping in.
"It's been a lot of work since May 2004 and I think there is still a lot of work until June 14, 2009 [the start date for the Confederations Cup] and the World Cup 2010," said Valcke. "I think it's a lot of issues and we have to make sure we are working on them all the time. The main issues are security, transportation, accommodation, overlay."
Valcke said this was normal, and that no country had ever been ready to host 18 months prior to the tournament. "When we had the Confederations Cup in Germany, it's where we discovered that lots of things were not working," he added. "There is no question that it was the right decision to bring the World Cup to South Africa."