Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality says it is "completely baffled" by the decision to drop its soccer stadium as a venue for the Fifa Confederations Cup in 2009.
Acting mayor Bicks Ndoni said yesterday that the stadium, currently under construction, would be ready and in full compliance with Fifa standards by March 2009.
It would thus "definitely have been able" to host confederations matches.
"The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and all of its stakeholders, service providers and residents are completely baffled, both by the decision and by the purported reason for such decision.
"We can only assume that the decision has been made for reasons other than technical," Ndoni said.
World Cup local organising committee chairman Irvin Khoza said after a board meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday that construction of the stadium was too far behind schedule for any other decision.
He said the importation of the roof was one of the problems that had been identified. The deadline for completion of the stadium was March 30.
However, at best, the stadium would be ready by the beginning of May, at worst at the end of May, just four weeks before the Confederations Cup.
Ndoni said the roof had previously been a concern of the LOC. - Sapa