AS THE world's best football nations fight through gruelling qualifying campaigns to make it to the 2010 Fifa World Cup, one of the world's most picturesque cities is ready to warmly welcome them.
Cape Town mayor Dan Plato and Local Organising Committee chief executive Danny Jordaan signed the service-level agreement yesterday for Cape Town to host the tournament's final draw at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on December 4.
The draw, which is expected to be beamed to almost 200 countries and to be attended by about 2000 guests and around 800 media representatives, will determine the match order for the world's top 32 teams at Africa's first World Cup.
The agreement sets out the roles and responsibilities of the two parties in staging the event and to provide support services.
Plato said the excitement and anticipation among the residents of Cape Town was starting to mount as the final draw and the World Cup approaches.
"We can't wait for the 4th of December and we can't wait for 2010 to welcome all the visitors and spectators to our city. Cape Town is ready and prepared to deliver a memorable final draw and to provide unique experiences for visitors and the soccer fraternity alike," Plato said.
Jordaan said the final draw would capture the imagination of the football world and would be a week-long event featuring activities staged by Fifa, the organising committee, the city of Cape Town, the Western Cape provincial government and all South Africa's host cities.
"The Fifa Confederations Cup has really shifted the mood worldwide. Where people once questioned and doubted, they are now looking forward in anticipation and excitement to the Fifa World Cup in South Africa," Jordaan said.