Beckenbauer confident of SA World Cup hosting

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Beckenbauer, the German representative on Fifa’s executive committee, said he had been taken by surprise.

“We in the Fifa executive are doing everything to have the World Cup take place in South Africa, even if we have to shut an eye every now and then. But I am sure that the World Cup in South Africa will take place,” Beckenbauer was quoted as saying by Die Welt newspaper in an interview published this week.

Blatter said last week he had spoken to three countries about hosting the tournament if a natural catastrophe forces it away from South Africa.

“Honestly, it was a surprise for me,” Beckenbauer said of Blatter’s statement made in an interview with Sky News. Blatter did not name the countries.

“I myself sit in Fifa’s executive and even I don’t know who are Blatter’s candidates,” Beckenbauer said.

The German soccer federation, which hosted the World Cup two years ago, has made it clear that it is not one of the three candidates.

Concerns are increasing about South Africa fulfilling its hosting obligations after the announcement that the Port Elizabeth stadium is unlikely to be completed in time for next June’s Confederations Cup tune-up event.

Beckenbauer said the South Africans were lagging behind in some infrastructure projects.

“Not everything is 100 percent,” Beckenbauer said. “But I say let’s give them a chance.”

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