Friday, April 13, 2007

Mbeki might help he can hold the world cup

President Thabo Mbeki is under pressure from South Africa’s 2010 World Cup organising committee to find a lasting solution to the Zimbabwe crisis, or risk seeing his country lose the right to host the biggest football tournament.

Already a number of European countries have raised their concerns at sending their teams to a country whose neighbour is involved in gross human rights abuses. Amid the spiralling brutality, violence, rapes and destruction of property belonging to the opposition, there are reports that the Southern African Development Community are also pushing Mbeki to force Robert Mugabe to stop his ‘dirty war’ on innocent Zimbabweans. Sources on Thursday said Mbeki is expected to travel soon to Harare for talks with Mugabe and opposition leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara.

Reports from Johannesburg said there have been a flurry of discussions over the phone between other SADC leaders and Mbeki, urging him to act fast on Zimbabwe to ensure the whole region benefits from South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 World Cup. This follows a statement Thursday by the chief executive of the 2010 organising committee that South Africa is seeking a change in World Cup rules to allow visiting teams to be based in neighbouring countries during the finals in three years’ time.....

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