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22/02/08  FIFA lavish praise on South African World Cup preparations - The latest FIFA inspection tour has revealed that South Africa is well on the way to providing the facilities required to stage the world's greatest sporting event. The local organising committee and a FIFA delegation toured six venues during the trip, Johannesburg's Ellis Park Stadium, Pretoria's Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Rustenburg's Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace, Polokwane's Peter Mokaba Stadium, Nelspruit's Mbombela Stadium and Bloemfontein's Free State Stadium.

Head of the FIFA South Africa office Ron Delmont said 'We have achieved our goals with this inspection to clarify the dynamic requirements such as the access routes and to assist the host cities in finding solutions for some of the challenges. The great engagement, from the Premiers and Mayors, to the project managers in each city - and the significant progress made - proves that we are on the right track'.

There still remains a certain amount of scepticism worldwide that South Africa can finish work in time to host the tournament in 2010, but Delmont reiterated the now familiar reassurances, 'I can assure you we are arguably ahead of previous FIFA World Cup organisers at this comparative stage'.

The next inspection, which will concentrate on the venues of the 2009 Confederations Cup, will be made in October 2008.

1/08/07  Cape Town Green Point Stadium latest picture - This exclusive image shows the development of Cape Town's Greenpoint World Cup stadium in its early stages.

Cape Town Greenpoint Stadium latest pic

The small "bowl" in the foreground is the old stadium which is being converted into an
athletics track.

In the background is Table Bay with marinas, luxury hotels and part of the Victoria
and Alfred Waterfront entertainment complex.

The strip in the foreground has plenty of affordable hotel and self catering

The stadium construction, which caused controversy with local residents and was originally delayed, is said to be 5 weeks ahead of schedule.

29/06/07  Fan Parks could attract 1 million 2010 World Cup visitors - Liverpool University football academic Dr Rogan Taylor has highlighted the importance of public viewing areas and fan parks during the World Cup. Speaking at the Soccerex seminar, Dr Taylor said a million visitors were expected in South Africa for the tournament. "Less than 10 years ago, the host country would have advised people not to travel if they did not have tickets. But now everybody comes, ticket or no tickets," he said.

19/06/07  Everything still on track for World Cup 2010 - FIFA president Sepp Blatter has once again stated that South Africa World Cup preparations are still very firmly on the rails following the latest FIFA inspection. Speaking in the gardens of the presidential offices of Tuynhuys after talks with President Thabo Mbeki, Mr Blatter said he had earlier met with members of South Africa's Local Organising Committee - including Irvin Khoza and Danny Jordaan - and had seen 'how they work and how they are going forward'.

Blatter went on to say 'We are on track and I'm happy', when visiting Green Point stadium in Cape Town. The stadium very nearly failed to get the go ahead at all after planning clashes with local residents but construction is now underway.

Less than two weeks ago, City of Cape Town 2010 spokesperson Pieter Cronje said construction at the Cape Town stadium was five weeks ahead of schedule.

14/05/07  Extra police will be drafted in to look after World Cup tourists - The South African Police Service (SAPS) has announced that an extra 30,000 police will be deployed during the World Cup to ensure the safety of travelling fans. According to Police Commissioner Arno Lamoer, there will be one policeman for every 10 visitors in order to ensure a safe World Cup.

As whisperings continue regarding the possibility of South Africa losing the World Cup it is worth noting again that new stadium construction is on schedule and there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that the South African bid is in trouble. Preparations look to be in good shape across the board and South Africa has the full support of FIFA and other African nations.

World Cup 2010 chief Danny Jordaan spoke out last week about the international media's constant need to rubbish the chances of South Africa staging a successful tournament.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter said recently that contingency plans for a last-minute switch had been made, although he added that he was in no doubt that South Africa would be ready.

"It is because of Sepp Blatter that we are hosting the World Cup," Jordaan told reporters at the Soccerex business and football conference at Wembley Stadium. Without him bringing in a rotation policy it would have been very hard for us."

"He [Blatter] said that Plan A is South Africa, Plan B is South Africa and Plan C is South Africa....he just stated that in case of a natural disaster they would look elsewhere but our country has no history of natural disasters so they won't need to."

Jordaan went on to say that work on all five new stadiums to be built had started, including the 68 000-seater Green Point stadium in Cape Town that was delayed by local protests. The other new stadiums are in Port Elizabeth, Durban, Polokwane and Nelspruit while five existing stadiums are being upgraded, including the FNB and Ellis Park in Johannesburg.

Jordaan believes most of the skepticism is coming from people who have never been to South Africa.

"The issue is consistently arising since we won the vote in 2004...it's based on the views of people who have never been to our country," he said.

"Fifa has already generated for the World Cup in South Africa the highest revenue ever, $3.2bn. It's the highest in the history of the World Cup. South African companies have also committed $100m to the event...it's higher than what local companies committed in 2002 in South Korea and Japan."

If major multi-nationals and South African companies are investing in the World Cup surely they have done their homework. The notion that we must consider something else does not make sense.

30/03/07  Record number of nations enter 2010 World Cup preliminaries - A record 204 nations have entered the South Africa World Cup qualifying tournament out of a total of 208 members. The only countries not to compete will be the Phillipines, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam and Laos. Montenegro are included despite not yet being confirmed as members by FIFA.

The number of competing nations eclipses the previous record set before the 2006 World Cup in Germany when 198 members applied with 194 eventually competing in the qualifying tournament.

The 2010 World Cup qualifiers get underway in August 2007 at the South Pacific Games when the Oceania qualifiers begin.

23/03/07  FIFA give a full vote of confidence to South Africa 2010 World Cup preparations - Fears that South Africa will be unable to fulfil its World Cup obligations appear to have been finally laid to rest. Concerns have been expressed around the world ever since South Africa was awarded the right to host the competition. Following the latest meeting of FIFA's executive committee, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said "When we had our last executive committee meeting in December there were queries, even some doubts......but today all the members stood behind South Africa and the organisation of this competition. There were also some words regarding the FIFA rotation policy which will see the 2014 World Cup move to South America. Blatter said it has not yet been decided whether the 2018 World Cup will move to Asia. A decision on the rotation policy will be made when the 2014 hosts are announced in November 2007.

10/02/07  South Africa World Cup preparations on track - The 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee met this week and announced that all stadiums are on schedule and outstanding disputes regarding a new stadium in Cape Town at Greenpoint have been resolved. Concerns that the World Cup venues in Durban and Cape Town may run over budget have also been addressed with all stadia now coming in on budget. All the 2010 World Cup stadiums are set to be completed by October 31st 2009.

Plans for the 2009 Confederations Cup were also revealed at the FIFA meeting. The tournament will be staged across five host cities - Johannesburg, Pretoria, Bloemfontein, Rustenberg and Port Elizabeth. The venues chosen for the tournament are Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein, the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace in Rustenberg and the new Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth. The champions of each of the six confederations will join hosts South Africa and World Cup 2006 winners Italy in the World Cup warm up. The 2009 Confederations Cup is scheduled to run from 14th June 2009 to 27th June 2009. 

14/12/06  Durban to host 2010 World Cup qualifying draw - World Cup organising committee Chairman Irvin Khoza has announced that the World Cup preliminary draw will be made in Durban's International Convention centre on November 25th 2007. With the last World Cup little more than 6 months ago, preparations are already well underway for the first World Cup on the African continent. The qualifying draw will be the official launch of the tournament and will be broadcast live to over 200 countries.

6/12/06  FIFA announce dates for 2010 World Cup - The 2010 World Cup in South Africa will run from June 11th until July 11th, FIFA revealed today. Qualification and the number of qualifiers from each region remains the same as in 2006, meaning 13 European nations, 5 Asian and Oceania teams and a total of 8 qualifiers from the American continent will contest the tournament. Hosts South Africa, who qualify automatically, will take their place alongside 5 other African nations. A full 2010 World Cup timetable/schedule will appear on this site as soon as it is announced.

24/11/06  FIFA delegation expresses satisfaction with South Africa 2010 World Cup preparations schedule – FIFA coordinator in waiting Horst Schmidt said that South Africa is further along with preparations than Germany was at the same stage before the last World Cup. Rumours and whisperings continue to abound about the possibility of South Africa losing the World Cup with most of the conjecture suggesting Australia will step in to fill the void. With construction getting underway in several locations and unwavering support from the FIFA hierarchy it looks very much like this is not going to happen. Schmidt went on to say ‘FIFA is very happy with the progress being made’.

3/11/06  England confirm interest in hosting 2018 World Cup - UEFA president Lennart Johansson revealed yesterday that he has already spoken with Chancellor Gordon Brown about the possibility of England hosting the 2018 World Cup. Johannson, launching his manifesto at the start of his campaign to be re-elected into the ivory towers of European football, seemed to suggest that every third World Cup would be held in Europe saying there was 'very great interest' in the idea.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has already said that the rotation system, where World Cup finals are moved around the continents will be 'revisited' for 2018 after being scrapped for 2014 where the tournament is likely to be held in South America.

Sports minister Richard Caborn said yesterday that the government would be willing to back a bid for the finals and FA chairman Brian Barwick threw his hat into the ring saying, 'If that (2018) is the year it is going to come back to Europe, we're going to go for it'.

No decision will be made on the venue for the 2018 World Cup until 2012.

2/11/06  World Cup 2010 South Africa scam email warning - Police have warned South Africans and the international community of a South Africa World Cup lottery email scam promising victims huge cash payouts. The South African scamsters tell potential victims they have won the lottery, provide a certificate confirming the prize and then request personal details via an online form. The South African lottery legislation does not permit participation via an agency or third party. Anybody receiving this email or other related games offering large cash payouts is urged to contact South African Police on (012) 401-3345 or (012) 393-1203 during office hours.

29/10/06  Sepp Blatter: 'They will be ready, no problems they will be ready' - FIFA president Sepp Blatter moved to end rumours that the 2010 World Cup in South Africa could be moved to another country. Speaking on Australian television, the country tipped to take over proceedings, Blatter said that speculation of a switch was wrong and the tournament will remain in South Africa. Blatter went on to say, 'The plan C and B in my opinion is still South Africa'.

28/10/06  South Africa host city hotel rooms at a premium - The Federation of Hospitality Association of South Africa are already warning South Africans not to travel to the host cities of the 2010 World Cup because of a projected shortage of hotel accommodation for the tournament. Some hotels have pledged up to 80% of their rooms to the FIFA organising committee and even though the tournament is almost 4 years away, it seems that very early booking of accommodation in South Africa for the World Cup is to be recommended.

18/10/06  Organising Committee brief world's press - Local Organising Committee chief Danny Jordaan gave details of preparations already underway for the first Football World Cup to be held on the African continent.

Many people, from fans to FIFA's political big-hitters, have voiced concerns over preparations and safety for the tournament. Jordaan stated that there were no major crime concerns and plans are already being drawn up to ensure the safety of players and supporters. Other points to come out of the briefing were;

The competition is likely to take place in June and July despite these being winter months in South Africa. No World Cup 2010 timetable or schedule was announced.

Neighbouring countries may be brought in to provide base camps for competing nations with Mozambique, Angola and Namibia possibly under consideration.

Stadium construction was also addressed.

Work on the new stadium in North Central Port Elizabeth is underway and is expected to be finished in time for the 2009 Confederations Cup. Durban has begun demolition in preparation for its World Cup venue and a new stadium in Green Point, Cape Town is expected to commence in January 2007.  

The 2010 World Cup will be held in South Africa after FIFA decided to host the competition on the African continent for the first time. South Africa won the nomination from unlucky bidders Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Libya.

9 cities will host the games. Johannesburg, which will have two venues, will stage matches along with Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, Nelspruit, Polokwane and Rustenburg.

2010 World Cup Qualifying begins in 2008. The Qualification process involves six FIFA continental zones - Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, North America and Oceania.

32 teams will qualify for the final stages of the competition.