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World Cup Organizers Praise South African Stadiums

Aerial view shows the Moses-Mabhida stadium in Durban, South Africa, ahead of the 2010 Football World Cup, 15 Feb 2010

Aerial view shows the Moses-Mabhida stadium in Durban, South Africa, ahead of the 2010 Football World Cup, 15 Feb 2010

Organizers of this year's World Cup have praised the 10 South African stadiums that will host the football matches, and say that with 100 days to go until the tournament kicks off there is no doubt that the country will be ready.

The delegation of senior football and political figures Tuesday delivered their endorsement of South Africa's World Cup preparations at the new stadium in Durban.

The president of football's world governing body, FIFA's Sepp Blatter, said the decade-old dream of staging the World Cup on African soil had become a reality.

"There is no doubt that never during the whole duration of my idea, confirmed by the executive committee, that Africa is a good choice and then when South Africa [was chosen], never have we put into question the ability to organize," said Blatter.

FIFA and local organizers completed a four-day tour of the 10 stadiums that will host World Cup matches. They noted that all but two stadiums are finished and have already hosted local games. They said the remaining two would be ready in a few weeks.

South Africa's Deputy-President Kgalema Motlanthe noted that in addition to the stadiums, his government has invested billions of dollars to upgrade airports, roads and railways.

"Now that we have completed the brick-and-mortar construction work, we now need to focus more on the soft issues of movement of people," said Motlanthe.

Air transportation authorities say many additional flights are being scheduled during the World Cup and hundreds of buses are being imported to transport fans to the games.

The head of the local organizing committee, Danny Jordaan, noted that football fans in other parts of Africa have voiced concerns about a lack of travel options to the Cup.

"We are continuing to do the work to make sure that all those African fans that would like to come to South Africa have the capability of coming here," said Jordaan. "The general problem is the [lack of] direct flights from every African country into South Africa and that is a matter that we are paying attention to."

In response to a question about difficulties in obtaining tickets in many African countries, Jordaan said ticket sales have been going well in some countries, particularly those whose teams have qualified for the Cup.

FIFA officials said they were working to make tickets more readily available in other countries in the region. They said more than two-thirds of the nearly three million tickets have been sold.