Germany to give full support to SA

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This was disclosed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a two-day state visit to South Africa, she visited SAFA House in Johannesburg, the hub of the planning for the next the world finals in 2010.

Merkel, along with Germany’s 2006 World Cup team manager and former star striker Oliver Bierhoff, was speaking at a Press gathering at the Soccer City construction site.

“Thank you for enabling us to get a first-hand impression of where the 2010 FIFA World Cup will start. Billions of people around the world will look at what you created and it will become a global symbol of South Africa," Merkel told the CEO of the LOC, Danny Jordaan.

“We are friends of South Africa, and as friends of South Africa, we want 2010 to be a tremendous success for your country."

Bierhoff shared these sentiments saying: “I am sure the World Cup in 2010 will be a great event, not only for South Africa but the whole African continent. It is very important to get the message to the world that you are a happy and friendly people.”

Merkel said that Germany would help South Africa, but only if they needed it, as Germany had received help with the 2006 organisation.

As for the concerns over violence, she pointed out that a similar situation existed in Germany, but that it was a small group of people who were the perpetrators.

She says her experience with the Fan Fests has been that “most people just want to enjoy football and they set the tone. It will be the same for South Africa”.