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from Reuters Soccer Blog:

South African potential can emerge from mountain of bricks

We are now less than a week away from the start of the Confederations Cup and the first true test of South Africa's preparedness to host the 2010 World Cup.

It's hard for a lot of people to take the Confederations Cup seriously, although in Germany four years ago it did develop into a summer festival and in the end proved a tasty appetiser before the main meal 12 months later.

The field for South Africa is somewhat lob-sided: Brazil, Italy and the all-conquering Spanish are the strong favourites with the United States, Egypt and South Africa perhaps having the potential to create an upset. Iraq and New Zealand should pose few problems for the big teams.

Most importantly, though, thisĀ is a test of the organisational ability of the World Cup hosts, whose preparations for 2010 have been clouded by uncertainty.