Jordaan: Locals must get up for World Cup

JOHANNESBURG - The South African public must show more enthusiasm for the 2010 World Cup in their country, organisers said on Wednesday.

Ticket sales have been sluggish locally, with just over half purchased by South Africans.

Danny Jordaan, chief executive of the organising committee, said the tournament would be one of the grandest nation-building initiatives undertaken since the death of apartheid.

"The challenge is now to mobilise the nation. The country needs each and every South African in their workplaces and their communities to stand up and decide what they are going to do to welcome the world in 2010," he said in a New Year message.

"Every South African must ask himself or herself, 'what am I doing to be a good host of the 2010 World Cup'?"

Jordaan added that locals should seize the chance to watch the world's best players on home soil.

"Let us not miss the opportunity to marvel, admire and enjoy their skills," he said.

Sepp Blatter, president of soccer's governing body FIFA, has previously criticised South Africa for a lack of anticipatory atmosphere in the build-up to the finals which start on June 11.