Wed, June 02, 2010
Video > News/Media > 2010 FIFA World Cup

Blatter views football stadia

2010-05-31 06:13:20 GMT2010-05-31 14:13:20 (Beijing Time)  SINA.com

The FIFA president expresses full support for South African World Cup.

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FIFA president Sepp Blatter steps out at the start of a tour of three World Cup stadia in South Africa.

His first stop was the 49,000 seater Peter Mokaba Stadium, 350 kilometres north of Johannesburg.

After a welcome by African dancers, Blatter spoke about what FIFA and the World Cup soccer tournament hoped to leave to South Africa:

(SOUNDBITE)(English) FIFA PRESIDENT, SEPP BLATTER:

"The legacy we want to leave South Africa is not only the wonderful stadia, the emotions, but we want to leave in South Africa also a legacy. It means football for hope, education, schooling and health programmes. We have a lot of health programmes now together with your authorities - and using football as a tool to help to go against poverty and alphabetism (illiteracy) and the health programme."

Poor ticket sales at this stadium and two others have lead to reduced price seats but Blatter said he hoped that would ensure all remaining seats would be filled.

His message to assembled journalists was clearly one of support to South Africa and the wider continent.

(SOUNDBITE)(English)FIFA PRESIDENT, SEPP BLATTER:

"It is a great day today here but it will be a very great period now coming on when all the world is focused on South Africa and all the world will have a look at what happens in the continent, in the African content, when finally there was an organisation or an institution called FIFA they say we trust South Africa, we trust Africa to organise such a big competition."

The Peter Mokaba stadium will host World Cup football games between Algeria and Slovenia, France and Mexico, Greece and Argentina, and Paraguay and New Zealand, beginning on June 13th.

Fiona Cameron, Reuters.

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