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Sd targets Ghana, Ivory Coast for World Cup camp

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MBABANE – The local 2010 office has backed Minister of Tourism and Environ-menalAffairs Macford Sib-andze’s mission to lure already qualified Ghana to set base in the country during the World Cup 2010 in South Africa.

Chief Operations Officer (COO) Appolo Maphalala said the mandate to invite count-ries to set their camp base in the country should be shoul-dered by every Swazi. Minister Sibandze is curre-ntly in Ghana where is atten-ding a meeting on tourism in the continent. But, he will also engage the Ghanaian Football Federation to set camp in the country during next year’s global showpiece. The West African country became the first African country, after the host country to qualify.

“We have heard about that, even though we cannot talk on behalf of his office. But we support any initiative that will lure any country to set base in the country. The mandate by the minister helps the whole country, because we are also busy on a similar programme as an office,” he said.

He revealed that while there was currently no country that had signed any agreement with his office, there are certain countries that they have targeted. “Our approach is threefold. The first phase is to target the countries that have already qualified. Then those by reputation are close to qualify. The final part would be to target the official draw set for December 4, because at the time everyone would know where her games would be played,” he said. He said there were means to get Ivory Coast who is likely to secure a World Cup spot on October 10 away to Malawi.

“We will be sending delegates to Malawi to meet the Ivorians who we are hopeful will eventually seal a qualification for the tournament. They are pretty much part of the countries we have identified,” he said. Meanwhile, the country has managed to attract interest from fans across the world. Maphalala said the only challenge they were facing was the capacity to meet their dema-nds in terms of securing accomm-odation.

“We have received interest from a number of fans who are being attracted by the peace and stability of the kingdom,” he said. The 2010 World Cup will take place from June 12, 2010 in South Africa with 32 countries sweating it for the tour-nament, last won by Italy in Germany three years ago. Swaziland long lost the battle to qualify almost a year ago when the country lost 0-6 to Togo in Ghana.

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