Fifa inspects SA facilities

TECHNICAL TEAM: Fifa delegates during a visit at the Ellis Park Stadium in Jobhannesburg. Pic. Antonio Muchave. 20/02/07. © Sowetan.
TECHNICAL TEAM: Fifa delegates during a visit at the Ellis Park Stadium in Jobhannesburg. Pic. Antonio Muchave. 20/02/07. © Sowetan.

A high-powered technical team from world soccer's governing body is in South Africa to inspect the country's ongoing preparations for the 2010 World Cup.

A high-powered technical team from world soccer's governing body is in South Africa to inspect the country's ongoing preparations for the 2010 World Cup.

Tim Modise, 2010 Local Organising Committee communications director, said the 19-member Fifa team will be in the country until Friday.

During their week-long inspection tours, they will look at various issues, like the facilities at match venues, to ensure that South Africa hosts a successful World cup.

The tour will take in media facilities and hospitality areas.

But the media will not be allowed near the inspectors during the tours.

Modise said the Fifa technical team started their inspection tour in Johannesburg on Monday with a visit to Soccer City.

Soccer City is closed while a major upgrade takes place.

The precinct is also home to Fifa House for the historic tournament,

Yesterday, the team went to Ellis Park in the morning and visited Loftus in Pretoria in the afternoon.

At Ellis Park, the stadium's general manager, George Stainton, did a presentation of their facilities to the delegation led by Horst Schmidt.

Also joining the team were Modise, LOC general manager Dennis Mumble, director of safety and security Linda Mti and representatives from the City of Johannesburg.

Members of the media are allowed to take photos but not to speak to any of the delegation members, who are under tight security.

Today, the delegation will be in Phokeng to inspect the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace and fly to Bloemfontein later in the afternoon.

Schmidt and company will be in Durban tomorrow and Friday morning before heading back to the Fifa headquarters in Zurich.

Modise said the primary aim of the delegation was to visit all the cities where the Confederations Cup matches in 2009 will be played.

"Port Elizabeth is on the list of Confederation Cup venues, but they won't be going there," said Modise.

The Confederations Cup venues are Ellis Park, Loftus, Free State Rugby Stadium, Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace and the new Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

Bafana Bafana have already qualified for the tournament - scheduled for June 14 2009 to June 27 - automatically by virtue of being the hosts. They are joined by Germany 2006 World Cup winners Italy.

The winners of a number of upcoming international tournaments will complete the field.

All the other stadiums for the World Cup are set to be completed by October 31 2009.

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