President Kgalema Motlanthe has assured world football’s controlling body Fifa of the government’s ongoing backing of the Confederations Cup and 2010 World Cup.

Motlanthe and ANC president Jacob Zuma gave the assurance to Fifa president Sepp Blatter in a telephone call on Friday, they said in a joint statement.

“We remain on course to host in 2010 the best Fifa World Cup ever — an African World Cup,” Motlanthe told Blatter. “We would like to assure Africa and the world that the deadlines set by Fifa will be met.

“South Africa’s hosting of the World Cup is testimony to the achievements of our democracy.”

Motlanthe was sworn in as president on Thursday after a week of political turmoil in which former president Thabo Mbeki resigned after his recall by the ANC over a high court ruling that Zuma’s prosecution on charges of racketeering, money-laundering, corruption and fraud was invalid.

South Africa is to host soccer’s Confederations Cup next year and the World Cup from June 11 to July 11, 2010.

After congratulating Motlanthe on his election, Blatter thanked him for taking the time to personally inform him about the situation. This underlined the importance of the 2010 FIFA World Cup to the South African government, he said.

“I was pleased to hear from him that the 2010 Fifa World Cup is fully supported by all political and governmental authorities and that everything will be done to make 2010 an unforgettable success.”

Motlanthe told Blatter of the composition of his new Cabinet and expressed his satisfaction with the infrastructural preparations.

Blatter, in turn, reassured Motlanthe of Fifa’s 100 percent support and assistance in the preparations and its full confidence and trust in South Africa’s organisational capabilities.