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Weah hopes 2010 World Cup will open doors

A well-organised World Cup in South Africa would enable other African countries to bid for major sporting events, former world footballer of the year George Weah has insisted.

The former AC Milan player, now studying business in the United States, said a successful tournament in 2010 could prove a major legacy for the continent.

"Other African countries will be able to bid in the future with confidence if a legacy is left by South Africa," the former Liberian international said at the Soccerex football conference on Wednesday.

"The World Cup in Africa has opened the route and there will be a big economic impact for the continent. South Africa has been given the opportunity to host the World Cup for the first time in Africa but the legacy should be for the rest of the continent," he added.

Zambian Kalusha Bwalya, who was named African footballer of the year 20 years, told the conference he hoped the international perception of Africa would change after the 2010 tournament.

"The World Cup can change the perception of Africa from a place of hunger, strife, wars and political turmoil to one of competence and ability," the former PSV Eindhoven player said.

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