Johannesburg: South Africa is hoping to outbid Morocco, Libya and Egypt for the right to host the 2010 Football World Cup. South Africa's 18 member delegation will go to Zurich to present its final bid. Among others, the delegation will consist of former President Nelson Mandela and the country's first Oscar winner Charlize Theron. Morocco says its biggest advantage is proximity to Europe and Egypt the land of Pharaohs also hopes that it will be a tough competitor. But South Africa says its biggest advantage is the tourism factor. Cape Town after all has been called god's own land. However aesthetics apart, South Africa has also successfully staged a Rugby World Cup in 1995 and the cricket World Cup in 2003. "We are ready for soccer World Cup 2010 and now only wait for FIFA's final note that we can go ahead full steam with our preparation," said Mandela. Mandela is also using an emotional appeal for FIFA, the governing body of football. "Anything can happen, but we will be in Zurich to work hard, to make sure we give and bring the World Cup as a gift of the celebration of ten years of democracy in South Africa," said Danny Jordaan, CEO of the South Africa Bid Committee. South Africa lost the bid for the 2006 World Cup to Germany by just 1 vote. However FIFA's announcement that it would only accept bids from Africa for the 2010 event made sure that South Africa were certainly the favourites, a fact endorsed by a recent technical report of FIFA.
(With wire inputs)
Topics : Football