Confederations Cup no to PE venue
Fifa yesterday welcomed the decision by the board of directors of the 2010 World Cup Local Organising Committee to remove Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth from the 2009 Confederations Cup schedule.
Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke said taking such a decision showed that the board was not afraid to take tough decisions.
He stressed that such decisions would ensure the overall success of the Cup.
"Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium bears the name of a great man who, at the host announcement in 2004, told how inspirational this tournament is to him," said Valcke at the board's media briefing at Safa House in Johannesburg yesterday.
Valcke reiterated that there was no Plan B to move the quadrennial tournament from South Africa.
"Sepp Blatter only said that we can implement Plan B in case of a catastrophe," he said.
He also revealed that they had received transport and security plans from the board that they will study first. Valcke was confident that South Africa would host a successful World Cup.
The 2010 LOC chairman, Irvin Khoza, said they took a decision to remove the Port Elizabeth venue from the 2009 Confederations Cup schedule after a report from the technical committee.
Khoza noted that progress had been made at the stadium and stressed that it would be ready for the 2010 World Cup.
The organising committee technical team said it was unlikely to meet the March 30 deadline for completion of the stadium. The board was also briefed on the progress of all 10 World Cup stadiums.
"With the complex nature of the construction and erection of the roof, it was decided that it would be too high a risk to keep the stadium in the Fifa Confederations Cup," Khoza said.