'We are a team'
| Logo for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa|
The Local Organising Committee (LOC) held a press conference at their home at the SAFA House in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Chairman of the LOC, Dr Irvin Khoza, took the opportunity to reiterate that the LOC will soon be actively seeking a Chief Operating Officer as 650 projects have already been identified.
Khoza emphasised the fact that the LOC was on schedule with new stadiums which are being constructed for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.
The LOC Board has appointed a new Director. The Minister of Foreign Affairs in the South Africa government, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, is the latest addition and will attend the next board meeting in June 2007.
The General-Secretary of FIFA, Dr Urs Linsi, used the opportunity to recap the events which have occurred in FIFA. He announced that President Joseph S. Blatter was to stand unchallenged for another term as FIFA President. Linsi also reiterated that the FIFA Confederations Cup would be extended by one day, from 14 June until 28 June 2009. FIFA was also in South Africa earlier in the year, on an inspection tour of existing venues. The General-Secretary said the organisation was pleased with the tour, calling it a "great success".
Linsi also highlighted the venue, the SAFA House, home to the LOC, FIFA and MATCH, as a symbol of the "exemplary way we are working together. This is football and we are a team."
Staff Change for FIFA South Africa
Linsi also announced the departure of Michael Palmer, the head of FIFA South Africa. Palmer will be replaced by his second in command, Ron DelMont. Both men hail from considerable event pedigrees, with DelMont having worked on five Olympic Games and the 1994 and 2006 FIFA World Cup.
Palmer has been involved in the Sydney Olympics, Manchester Commonwealth Games and most recently was the Head of Venue Management for the UEFA Champions League before joining FIFA in 2005. He also led the FIFA World Cup Observer Programme for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The programme was especially useful for the South African contingent as it gave them invaluable insight into the running of the event.
Palmer speaks fondly of the people of South Africa and his experiences. "The 2010 FIFA World Cup is in good hands in South Africa. It’s got a very firm base and there are good people in the local Organising Committee who have the vision to take the event further. There are a lot of challenges and lots to do, but I have no doubt it is going to be a wonderful, wonderful World Cup. I feel proud that I could contribute. When I return home to Australia I will have nothing but positive things to say about South Africa."
Palmer leaves his duties in South Africa to take up a new challenge, as the Head of Commercial Operations of the Australian Football League, also nicknamed 'Aussie Rules'.