ready for the world

15 December 2008 - 02:00
By unknown

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

As 2008 nears its end, the Local Organising Committee is satisfied with the upgrading of stadiums for the Confederations Cup kicking off in June next year.

"It was quite an eventful year (2008) and we are happy with the progress," said Danny Jordaan, the LOC's chief executive officer.

"All our stadiums will be completed on time for both the Confederations Cup and 2010 World Cup and there is no two ways about it."

Four venues will host the eight-nation tournament, which will also see some of the best teams in the world like Brazil, Italy and Spain taking part.

The venues are Loftus (Tshwane) Ellis Park (Johannesburg), Free State (Mangaung) and Royal Bafokeng (Rustenburg).

Ellis Park, which was recently commended by Fifa president Sepp Blatter as one of the best venues in the world, will host the opening and closing ceremonies.

Brazil are representing South America in the "Festival of Champions", Italy (World champions) and Spain (European winners).

Others are Egypt (African winners), Iraq (Asia), the US (Concacaf) and New Zealand (Oceania). South Africa are taking part by virtue of their being the host country.

For the World Cup, Jordaan also congratulated construction workers on site at all the venues for stepping-up a gear to complete the facilities on time.

At all the venues, including the new Nelson Mandela Sports Complex in Port Elizabeth, constructors have started placing the chairs.

Turning to transport infrastructure, Jordaan said: "Everything is going according to plan. There was a presentation by Minister Jeff Radebe and Fifa are quite happy with progress. The Gautrain arrived in Durban a few days ago."

Jordaan said there was enormous interest in tickets for the Confederations Cup with about 105million queries around the world on the Internet.

Lesley Sedibe, head of the LOC legal and ticketing department, said the tickets for the game between Brazil and Italy in Tshwane were in high demand.