Soccer City No1 says Sepp

FIFA president Sepp Blatter yesterday gave Soccer City a big thumbs-up ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, describing it as one of the best sports facilities in the world.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter yesterday gave Soccer City a big thumbs-up ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, describing it as one of the best sports facilities in the world.

Blatter thanked South Africa and went on to say that it was his wish to see Nelson Mandela at the opening match between Bafana Bafana and Mexico on June 11.

He visited Soccer City yesterday for its official handover to Fifa, accompanied by Local Organising Committee chairperson Irvin Khoza.

Blatter said: "It is five-star, one of the most beautiful stadiums. I can compare it with Wembley Stadium outside London.

"Yes this is a Fifa World Cup, but the people who have done the homework and the hard work are South Africans. We express our thanks. What will happen here is part of history."

Soccer City, which resembles an African calabash with its shape and patchwork of colours, will be the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Cup.

Blatter said: "The biggest legacy will be the celebration of African humanity and no one represents that better than Nelson Mandela. This is part of his legacy.

Khoza said: "What Blatter said is a business card for our expertise and construction, a statement of confidence in SA's ability to host major global events."

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