AS the D-day for the kickoff of the 2010 World Cup, the first on African soil in South Africa draws near, the FIFA World Cup 2010 International Coordinating Committee (ICC) toured Nigeria with a message that the rainbow country is ready to host the world.
South Africaâ€™s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Kingsley Mamabolo told a Nigerian audience in Lagos Monday that they are ready to host the world because â€œall work relating to major infrastructure development required for the tournament is complete.â€
Alluding to the fears on security, Mr. Mamabolo said that â€œFIFA has given us pass mark on security so it is not an issue for now. All the talks on security is sometimes blown out of proportion,â€ as he enjoined
Africans not to join the western world to harp on the security issue because there is really no cause for alarm.
Stressing that the country has sunk about $100 million to secure the country for the World Cup, the High Commissioner said that â€œSouth Africans are excited about the opportunity to be great hosts (and) welcome our African brothers and sisters to our country with open arms, for Africaâ€™s first World Cup.â€
He stressed that â€œas host of 2010 FIFA World Cup, South Africa is inspired by the passion shown by the people and football community of Nigeria for the historic event which begins in June.â€
Meanwhile the request by the President of the Nigerian Football Supporters Club, Dr. Rauf Oladipo to restrict the use of the Vuvuzela as it is too noisy and would not allow the Nigerian supporters to express themselves was politely turned down by the High Commissioner.
â€œIt will be difficult to stop the Vuvuzela, we canâ€™t tell the people not to take the Vuvuzela to the stadium. The Nigerians can still beat their drums in the midst of the Vuvuzelas and will also ensure they get some,â€ the High Commissioner said.
Scores of football enthusiasts brought colour and the blare of vuvuzelas to the streets of Lagos capital, in support of South Africaâ€™s hosting of the tournament and of the countryâ€™s national team, The Super Eagles.