A call for unity


Parreira’s message for South Africa’s meddling politicians and league coaches was to ‘Shut up’ and let him do his job.

The Brazilian pointed out that no country in the world had a team ready two years before the World Cup.

“It doesn’t work like that. People are looking for short-cuts, but there are none in football,” he said.
Parreira had the last laugh on Wednesday after Bafana Bafana thrashed fancied Paraguay 3-0 in an important international friendly. Jordaan, who is fast becoming SA’s most formidable spin-doctor, also had a word or two for impatient South Africans.

Apart from running the day-to-day operations of the body tasked with putting together the nuts and bolts of the biggest event of any kind on the African continent, this former politician is still trying to convince South Africans to believe in themselves.
For several years now, Jordaan has stuck to the same message; that SA has the will and the way to produce the goods in 2010.

“There is almost a fear that actually we will succeed in delivering the best World Cup ever,” he said at a function in Pietermaritzburg last week.
And he has a point.

With the Confederations Cup just over a year away and the World Cup looming fast, many South Africans are still doubting themselves. The latest African Response poll reveals that 67 percent agree that the country will be ready by 2010.
That’s a six percent drop from the previous month’s measurement.

This dip was anticipated given the recent negativity related to power cuts experienced throughout the country. But Jordaan says these (and other) problems are being addressed ‘and we have to regain our self-belief.’

One glance at the steady progress Bafana are making on the field or, for that matter, at the cranes towering above stadia and other 2010-related construction projects in each and every host city should provide an affirmation that SA is moving in the right direction.
Certainly a healthy dose of self-belief would help to oil the national team as well as the giant machinery that is needed to successfully host an event of this magnitude.

  • Urquhart is a former Fifa World Cup Media Officer and is the editor of http://www.project2010.co.za