<!-- IMAGE -->
Fifty experts from FIFA and the Organizing Committee in South Africa
have completed an inspection of the stadiums to be used in the 2010
FIFA World Cup.
The overall consensus of the experts is that
South Africa's preparations for the 2010 FIFA football (soccer) World
Cup are well on track. They have been visiting the ten stadiums across
the country, some new, some refurbished, and Ron Delmont, the head of
FIFA South Africa, says he is pleased.
"Now those walls have
paint on them, the floors have covering on them, there is carpet, we
can walk into the media center, we do not have to envision the media
center; we can clearly identify where the busses are going to drop off
the teams. We can look at how we are going to cater for the spectators
as they come to the stadium, and most important when everyone leaves,
which will happen en masse. So I think this inspection has given us a
high level of comfort," he said.
Organizing Committee in South
Africa CEO Danny Jordaan told the media briefing in Johannesburg, the
construction of the stadiums will be complete in December.
now we sit in the position where one of the new stadiums, in Port
Elizabeth, has already seen a number of international matches and all
of the other stadiums we know will be complete well before the kickoff
on the 11th of June  - in fact when we go to the final draw, all
of these stadiums will be ready from a construction point of view,"
Dereck Blanckensee, FIFA's chief competitions
officer, told the media briefing in Johannesburg that what will remain
to be done, much closer to competition time, is putting the
FIFA-required additional infrastructure in place.
process of building those temporary structures really only happens
shortly before the tournament starts and that is of course completely
intentional because those things are all rented structures, so you
would not want them standing there for months and months," said
The experts also spoke of transport and security,
which had been a worry for FIFA. Jordaan says much work has been done
to improve transport with improvements in the rail system, including a
new high speed rail network for Gauteng province; and new rapid bus
systems in the major cities. And he said the South African police are
introducing some innovative security measures for the tournament.
now have a mobile police station that is attached to the train, so that
if you misbehave in the train, you go to jail on the train," he said.
need for heightened security measures was highlighted last week when
all United States facilities in South Africa were closed for two days
due to what the State Department called a credible risk. That risk
seems to have been dealt with and the U.S. Embassy reported they
received excellent support and cooperation from the South African