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It's full steam ahead for World Cup preparations

By unknown | Feb 27, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

There is a lot of high-level stuff that has been happening around preparations for the 2010 World Cup.

There is a lot of high-level stuff that has been happening around preparations for the 2010 World Cup.

Things such as the allocation of the additional amounts of money to the host cities by Minister of Finance Trevor Manuel as well as decisions on roles and responsibilities of Fifa, the organising committee and host cities.

Following last week's visit to six venues - Ellis Park, Loftus Versfeld, Royal Bafokeng, Peter Mokaba, Mbombela and Bloemfontein - the feedback from the committee and Fifa technical experts is that our colleagues at these venues have gone a long way to meeting Fifa's technical requirements.

For you and I, a stadium is a stadium is a stadium, but for the football World Cup, certain things have to be organised and built in a certain way: from the positioning of dressing rooms and their distance from the field of play, to doping areas, ablution rooms, VIP areas, media centres, food stalls, TV camera positions and access points for fans to entertainment and display areas.

The issues are many and varied but have to be integrated into the design of the stadium to make it both functional for the athletes, officials, sponsors, print media and broadcasters, as well as comfortable, safe and accessible for the fans. All this is done to specific requirements.

It is for that reason that we first had the venue inspections followed by various working meetings. Over the past weekend the organising committee, Fifa and other partners held discussions on various campaigns that we will be launching very soon, particularly on environmental issues. The promotion of best practice and awareness of environmental issues is going to be very central to the delivery of the event and we will provide more detail in due course.

This was followed by discussions on how the more than 18000 journalists expected in South Africa are going to be catered for at the 64 matches in the tournament in 2010. On Sunday the discussions were about the provision of technology-based entertainment for the three million football fans expected at the stadiums. We concluded these meetings on Monday with an integrated discussion on how to make these ideas work together in a seamless manner.

Remember, this is but one part of the process, because there's also the other part of delivering the matches, which is a responsibility of our competitions division, as well as the related services of transport, hospitality, etc.

In the meantime the security division of the organising committee hosted a two-day planning workshop earlier this week.

Our colleagues shared information on plans and resources with representatives from the various security agencies of the country as well as host cities. The South African Police Service unveiled their anti-crime strategies and preparations, and the security conference also received input from former World Cup hosts Germany.

These two examples show how important it is for the various stakeholders to share information and work together for the successful delivery of the Confederations Cup next year and the World Cup in 2010. These are but some of the activities that took place over the past few days.

Many continue to take place in the organisation and at host cities and they will be highlighted going forward. We are going to hear more about how South Africans continue to sharpen their preparations when we host the Cities Forum on Friday.

Till then, ke nako! As we march closer to celebrating Africa's humanity in 2010.


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