loc gears up for fifa

All reports by Ramatsiyi Moholoa

ACCRA - The 2010 South African Local Organising Committee is geared up for a visit by a high-powered Fifa delegation that will inspect venues for the 2009 Confederations Cup and 2010 World Cup.

Danny Jordaan, the LOC's chief executive who also served on the Africa Cup of Nations finals organising committee in Ghana, said the Fifa technical committee will be in the country from February 18 to 22.

The last inspection on the venue by the Fifa delegation was last October. They looked at the new Green Point Stadium in Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth) and Moses Mabhida (Durban) were inspected by the delegation.

Of all the 10 venues selected by the Local Organising Committee for the two competitions, there seems to be more pressure on the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. It is the only new stadium that will host both the Confederations Cup and the World Cup.

"In terms of the operations of the World Cup, there are two technical inspections by Fifa in a year which deal mainly with the preparations for the tournament. The first inspection takes place in February and the second in October," said Jordaan.

"The Fifa delegation will be joined by our technical committee during their inspection tours. During the inspection, they will look at things like stadium construction progress, road developments, transport infrastructure, accommodation, information technology, broadcasting, safety and security.

"We are looking forward to their visit because the preparations are going according to plan in all the host cities.

"We do regular assessment of the preparations on our own to ensure that we are also on track in terms of deadlines."

Other match venues to be inspected are Peter Mokaba (Polokwane), Ellis Park in Johannesburg, Loftus (Tshwane), Free State (Bloemfontein), Mbombela (Nelspruit) and Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace (Rustenburg).

"The Fifa delegation will be going to the inland match venues when they come to South Africa next week. You will recall that the coastal inspection tour took place last year, where the delegation was impressed with the progress," added Jordaan.