CAPE Town Stadium has the best pitch of all the 2010 Soccer World Cup venues, Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke said yesterday.
He was speaking at the ceremonial handover of the 68000-seater stadium to the world soccer body ahead of the start of the tournament.
"It's definitely the best pitch we have during all this World Cup, if you compare with all the other stadiums.
"I'm sorry for the other stadiums, but it's a fact." He said Cape Town was a special stadium for him because he would be there on June 11 watching - "I cannot support by the way, but watching at least - France playing Uruguay. And I'm sure I will come back for the semifinal again to support France." Valcke is French.
He told Cape Town mayor Dan Plato that Fifa would take care of the stadium during the tournament and make sure it was "as nice as it is today" when it was handed back.
Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, who oversaw key stages of the stadium project when she was mayor of Cape Town, said it had been "quite an extraordinary journey".
"It's nice to take a little bit of credit for an extraordinary project that so many people worked on."
She paid particular tribute to the workers involved in the building of the stadium, and to the South African companies who had worked in such a coordinated way to show that the country was truly world-class.
"The South African project managers have trumped every expectation by the extraordinary job they have done," she said. - Sapa