Fifa Club World Cup to go head de­spite Ebola fears

The Star Early Edition - - SOCCER - HOSEA RAMPHEKWA AND SAPA

FIFA supremo Jerome Val­cke has dis­tanced the world foot­ball gov­ern­ing body from the 2015 African Cup of Na­tions fi­asco.

Morocco were with­drawn as hosts by the African Foot­ball Con­fed­er­a­tion (CAF) after their plea to post­pone the fi­nals be­cause of Ebola fears were re­jected. Val­cke, who is the gen­eral sec­re­tary of Fifa, said the 2014 Fifa Club World Cup, which is to be hosted in Morocco next month, will go ahead as planned.

He said the decision to with­draw Morocco as Af­con hosts will not have an im­pact on the Club World Cup as the two tour­na­ments are dif­fer­ent.

“There was never a dis­cus­sion be­tween Fifa and the au­thor­i­ties of Morocco about can­celling the Fifa Club World Cup. The scale of the event is dif­fer­ent. We are look­ing at an event which is played in two ci­ties – Ha­bat and Mar­rakesh,” said Val­cke, who added that Fifa did dis­cuss with Morocco’s lo­cal or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee about the is­sue of Ebola and their fears were al­layed.

Val­cke, who was in Pre­to­ria yes­ter­day at­tend­ing a 2010 World Cup Legacy Trust board meet­ing, says Fifa will give the custodians of African foot­ball all the support.

“It’s an is­sue of Caf. It’s not with Fifa. I could an­swer a ques­tion if they were to with­draw from the Fifa Club World Cup and that’s not the case so for us for the time be­ing. I hope Af­con will be played in the days which are on the in­ter­na­tional cal­en­dar. We are sup­port­ing Caf to make sure they will suc­ceed in find­ing the new hosts,” said Val­cke at the High Per­for­mance Cen­tre at the Univer­sity of Pre­to­ria.

Val­cke said in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the match-fix­ing scan­dal that in­volved Bafana Bafana ahead of the 2010 World Cup are about to be con­cluded.

Mean­while, work would be­gin on a R100-mil­lion na­tional tech­ni­cal cen­tre, in part funded by the 2010 World Cup Legacy Trust, SA Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Danny Jor­daan said. “The trust agreed we must have a na­tional tech­ni­cal cen­tre for Safa with R100-mil­lion al­lo­cated to the project,” Jor­daan said in Pre­to­ria. He did not dis­close where ex­actly the cen­tre would be built, but did con­firm it would be in Gaut­eng.

“It must be an icon cen­tre of the 2010 World Cup and it will be un­veiled next year.”

The Legacy Trust was es­tab­lished, to­gether with Safa, after the show­piece event South Africa hosted four years ago. The aim was to aid grass­roots de­vel­op­ment in the coun­try. A to­tal of R450-mil­lion had been in­vested in the trust since the 2010 event, of which R82-mil­lion had been dis­bursed so far for a va­ri­ety of de­vel­op­ment projects.

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