Danny Jordaan: South Africa Must Reach The Confederations Cup Semi-Finals

It will be a major disaster if Bafana Bafana do not reach the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup.
This was the view expressed by 2010 LOC (Local Organising Committee) CEO Danny Jordaan after the monthly board meeting. Jordaan, like many South African fans, is worried about how Bafana will do against their Group A opponents: FIFA's top ranked side, Spain; Asian champions Iraq; and Oceanic representatives New Zealand.

Jordaa revealed, "The bottom line is that this is the only opportunity for Bafana to get competitive matches under their belts before they compete in the 2010 World Cup."

Jordaan explained that Bafana's failure to qualify for the 2010 African Nations Cup was a massive blow. "The African Nations Cup would have been perfect preparation for the World Cup for Bafana," he said. "But we failed and now we have to play friendly matches expect for the Confederations Cup. The Confederations Cup will show us if Bafana are ready to host the best in the world."

Jordaan pointed out that the other 31 countries who will compete alongside Bafana in the world's greatest football spectacle next year will have gone through a tough qualifying section to get there.

He added, "Every one of those 31 countries have faced a tough and difficult road to the finals while we have had little serious preparation. We have only one chance to show what we are capable of doing in 2010 and that is the Confederations Cup. It is vital we do well and reach at least the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup otherwise it will be a disaster for our World Cup hopes."

Bafana open their Confederations Cup Group A schedule with a match against Iraq at Ellis Park on June 14. While Jordaan was concerned about Bafana's readiness, the LOC boss said that the stadiums, Loftus, Royal Bafokeng, Ellis Park and the Free State Stadium would be ready in time after undergoing major renovations.

Peter Pedroncelli, Goal.com