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Roma's chance to bounce back

AS Roma
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By ESPN Staff

Mbeki quells power fears for 2010 World Cup

South Africa president Thabo Mbeki has dismissed speculation that the 2010 World Cup could be affected by the country's ongoing electricity crisis.

Power cuts have been an almost daily occurrence in the country since the start of the year, raising further doubts over South Africa's ability to meet construction deadlines for the World Cup.

Tourism companies have also expressed concern that blackouts could put potential visitors off attending the games.

But Mbeki, in his annual state of the nation address, insisted that preparations for the first Africa-staged World Cup remain on course.

'The current challenges we are facing have led some elsewhere in the world once more to question whether we will be able to host these tournaments (the World Cup and 2009 Confederations Cup) successfully,' he said.

'Of course, I have absolutely no doubt that we will honour our undertaking to FIFA and the world community of soccer players and lovers to create all the necessary conditions for the holding of the best ever FIFA Soccer World Cup tournament.'