Wednesday, Feb 12, 2003
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South African soccer officials are hoping a successful cricket World Cup will enhance their chances of bringing football's equivalent to the country in 2010. Irvin Khoza, chairman of South Africa's 2010 bid committee, said he was confident the cricketing spectacle would prove both the organisational capacity of the country and that it was a safe place to host the soccer World Cup.
"One of the biggest problems we had when bidding for the 2006 World Cup was the perception that South Africa was unsafe for visitors and the crime rate was out of control," Khoza told Reuters.
"I'm confident this cricket event is going to show that the country is perfectly safe for visitors. The high rate of tourism is already showing this to be the case," he said.
South Africa narrowly lost out on hosting the 2006 World Cup finals to Germany but is now favourite in an all-African bid for 2010.
"The cricket World Cup also shows the great capacity we have, both in terms of infrastructure and in terms of our organisational capacity," Khoza said. "It has also shown that fears over ticket sales are unfounded. You can't get into a cricket match over the next two months. They are all sold out and that is something that FIFA is going to take notice of. If we get the 2010 World Cup, I'm confident the same will happen.
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