FIFA pleased with progress in construction of SA's 2010 stadia

By Proffesor Ndawonde

Johannesburg - International football governing body FIFA said on Wednesday it was pleased with the progress South Africa had made in completing the 2010 FIFA World Cup stadia.

"Overall we are very impressed with the achievements made," said Ron DelMont, who heads up FIFA's office in South Africa.

A 50-member delegation from the Local Organising Committee and FIFA conducted a comprehensive inspection of all five stadiums in Durban, Limpopo, Cape Town, Mpumalanga and Port Elizabeth recently.

The site visits revealed that preparations were on track for all stadiums to be completed by the end of the year. In most instances, the physical construction of the stadiums is virtually complete, with almost all seats installed as well as pitches newly-laid.

"In addition to the stadiums coming together, we were equally pleased that the teams of the LOC, host cities and FIFA are working towards a common vision on the delivery of the event," he said.

LOC Chief Executive Officer Danny Jordaan applauded host cities for their outstanding effort in constructing the stadiums.

"They have all done us proud. They have ensured that their wonderful new stadiums are built to the highest quality and are ready in time."

He said there had always been a question mark around whether the stadia will be ready in time.

"This tour has provided ample evidence that indeed we will be."

Jordaan added that it was now up to the LOC and FIFA to get them ready to host World Cup matches by putting in place the temporary overlay infrastructure such as the stadium media centres, hospitality areas, accreditation centres and signage.

The team who conducted the visits comprised operational experts in competitions, broadcasting, media operations, medical, volunteers, transport, logistics, safety and security, protocol, marketing, information and technology, risk management amongst others.

The inspections included a consultant from the South African Disability Alliance to oversee the provisions that have been made for access for all spectators with disabilities. So far, 7 863 tickets for wheel-chair bound fans have been purchased.

Inspections were also made of the venue specific team hotels and the venue specific training sites in each city. - BuaNews