'There's no 2010 crisis'


Danny Jordaan, the chief executive of the 2010 World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC), has rejected reports that the body is beset by persistent fighting and mistrust among senior managers.

His comments came as the LOC's top brass were due to clarify persistent rumours of deepening divisions within their ranks at a media briefing on Monday.

This follows a week of speculation of a rift within the LOC and rumours that the committee's head of marketing and communications, Tim Modise, was on the verge of leaving.

Modise - the celebrity talk-show host who was hired with much fan- fare - has refused to comment on the speculation of his departure

On Sunday a newspaper alleged that the LOC was facing a staff exodus due to unhappiness, and that Jordaan had a stormy relationship with LOC chairperson Irvin Khoza.

Allegations that Modise was about to quit were compounded by the suspension of the LOC's human resources manager, Nomzamo Kasasa.

Jordaan told the Cape Argus on Sunday that he and Modise were due to meet on Monday.

He also denied the allegations of a rift adding that it was "difficult to respond to unnamed sources".

"This thing that I am fighting with Khoza is a lie. I am surprised to read all of these things," he said.

"Since 2004, we have only had two resignations, which is not a staff exodus. Tim is at work, and I will be meeting him tomorrow … I don't know where these allegations are coming from."

Jordaan's latest comments follow his confident message to the country at the weekend that "only an act of God" could take the World Cup away from South Africa.

He told a gathering in Cape Town that South Africa's World Cup would be the best the world had seen and, at the same time, would leave the country with better infrastructure, increased tourism and greater foreign investment.

Khoza also spoke out on Sunday, saying that they would use Monday's media briefing to set the record straight.

The briefing would coincide with the start of Fifa inspection committee's evaluation of the 2009 Confederations Cup and 2010 stadiums at Ellis Park.

"We will call a press conference on Monday to address these issues. (Danny) Jordaan will be there and I will be there," Khoza said.

An incensed Khoza added: "If there are problems, we will deal with them. We need a team and what I don't like to accept are faceless people … p***ing in the wind."

Reports of a frosty relationship between Jordaan and Khoza are not new. In 2005 Sepp Blatter, the Fifa president, had to broker a truce between the two following a bitter stand-off about the appointment of a chief executive for the LOC.

At the time Khoza and SA Football Association president Molefi Oliphant insisted that the post be advertised and that Jordaan, who had played a crucial role in winning the 2010 bid, would have to apply if he was interested.

Blatter entered the fray, telling the LOC there was no need to advertise the post and that Jordaan should be appointed chief executive.

In Cape Town on Monday, city spokesperson Pieter Cronje said the completion of the Green Point Stadium was on schedule.

"We are on track for completion on December 15, 2009. A third of the stadium is currently complete," he said.

Western Cape Premier Ebrahim Rasool also gave the thumbs up to 2010 plans in his State of the Province address on Friday.

He announced that plans to upgrade infrastructure and building at Green Point Stadium were progressing well.

He said the Western Cape would be ready to host the thousands of visitors expected to descend on the province.

"Detailed planning for emergency services and disaster management for safety and security are reaching advanced stages, as we prepare to submit plans to Fifa in June.

Working together … we are thoroughly delighted with the enthusiasm and commitment shown across the board," he said.

He added that Khayelitsha could be the first beneficiary on the African continent of a Fifa initiative to uplift destitute communities.

Called the "20 Centres for 2010", the campaign will see Fifa build 20 community centres in Africa, five of which will be in South Africa. The centres will offer counselling, health and educational services to young people. - Additional reporting by Lebogang Seale




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