Fifa envoys impressed

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

The world governing soccer body has once more commended South Africa on its on-track preparations for the 2010 World Cup.

This comes after a Fifa technical committee delegation visited six venues for a thorough inspection of the work done to date.

The venues are Peter Mokaba (Polokwane), Ellis Park (Johannesburg), Loftus (Pretoria), Royal Bafokeng (Rustenburg), Mbombela (Nelspruit) and Free State (Bloemfontein).

While Ellis Park, Royal Bafokeng, Loftus and Free State are existing stadiums that are being renovated, Peter Mokaba and Mbombela are being built from scratch.

Ellis Park, Loftus, Royal Bafokeng, Free State and the new Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth have also been chosen to host the 2009 Confederations Cup from June 14 to 28.

The Confederations Cup, where newly crowned Africa Cup of Nations kings the Pharaohs of Egypt will represent the mother continent, is a dress rehearsal for the World Cup.

Bafana Bafana have qualified for the Confederations Cup by virtue of being hosts.

During the visits the Fifa delegation was briefed on the latest developments concerning stadium construction, road and transport infrastructure, information technology, safety and security, accommodation, media and communication.

Speaking at a media briefing at the end of their inspection tour in Bloemfontein on Friday, Fifa also praised all the provincial government leaders for their hands-on approach to the project.

Ron DelMont, a spokesman for the delegation, said: "We are very impressed with the efforts at all the venues we visited and amazed at the level of preparation.

"We have achieved our goals with this inspection, which where to clarify the dynamic requirements such as access to routes and to assist host cities in meeting some of their challenges.

The Fifa delegation was accompanied by members of the 2010 Local Organising Committee's own technical committee