By Tony Ubani
The 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa hasÂ congratulated the Green Eagles, Indomitable Lions of Cameroun and New Zealand for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa next year. Against all expectations, the Eagles pecked Harambee Stars of Kenya thrice to run away with a 3-2 victory, flying to Mandelaâ€™s country after Mozambique pipped Tunisia 1-0 in the other qualifier.
Nigeria, Cameroon and New Zealand all secured their spot for Africaâ€™s maiden FIFA World Cup.
They join Japan, Netherlands, North Korea, Australia, South Korea, USA, Brazil, Ghana, England, Paraguay, Spain, Denmark, Cote dâ€™Ivoire, Chile, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Serbia, Switzerland, Argentina, Honduras, Slovakia and South Africa, as hosts, who have already qualified for the tournament.
â€œThese are exciting times. It is gratifying that the lineup for next yearâ€™s tournament is almost complete,â€ said Chief Executive Officer of the OC, Dr. Danny Jordaan.
Jordaan particularly praised Nigeria for weathering the storm and securing a ticket to the World Cup in South Africa. He said Nigerian would be home in the Rainbow country as all South Africans would also support the African football superpower.
â€œWe are honoured to have these African football superpower in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. As we have seen from the three FIFA tournaments already held in Africa this year, it is the African teams that are performing well. I am confident Nigeria has a good chance in 2010 and its team will certainly feel the full support of South Africans in the tournament,â€ said Jordaan.
Nigeria made its first appearance in the finals at USA 1994, where they made it past the first round at the first attempt, and they went on to play at the 1998 and 2002 tournaments. The Nigerian team lost out to Angola for a place at the last World Cup in Germany. Danny Jordaan also praised the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon for making it to South Africa.
â€œThe Indomitable Lions are one of the best chances for a team from Africa to enjoy success at the tournament next year. We welcome our brothers from West Africa to footballâ€™s biggest festival. With their skill, flair and experience, Cameroon is sure to win over hundreds of new fans during the tournament. Since the days of Roger Milla in the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the USA, they have become synonymous with entertainment and we expect next year to be no different,â€ said Jordaan.