FIFA completes inspection of 2010 stadia
A delegation of FIFA and Local Organising Committee (LOC) representatives on Wednesday completed its three-day routine inspection tour of four of the nine 2010 FIFA World Cup host cities, acknowledging the great efforts made in South Africa.
The members were given a look at the construction sites of the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, Green Point Stadium in Cape Town, the Nelson Mandela Metro Stadium in Port Elizabeth and Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium.
The delegation also received progress reports in many areas of the host cities' activities, ranging from venue construction to accommodation, finance, transport and the environment during the three-day visit.
The visit allowed the host cities to showcase the progress they are making and also to highlight their commitment to leaving a lasting legacy beyond 2010.
"We were able to see signs of huge transformation in the host cities. The task ahead is a big one and we admire the ambition and efforts in the host cities to make 2010 a successful event," said a member of the delegation, Alain Leiblang, who is FIFA's Head of Media Operations for the 2010 World Cup.
Leiblang's views were echoed by LOC Chief Competitions Officer Dennis Mumble, who said: "We are quite happy that the programme is on track. What we set out to do with this inspection tour, we achieved.
"There are challenges and adjustments that need to be made, but that's the reason for tours such as this, to address those. The quality and organisation of the inspection tour has been excellent, especially the presentations given by all the host cities we have visited.
"The Organising Committee is very happy with the progress being made and believes more than ever that we are on track to host an extremely successful 2010 FIFA World Cup."
A proud LOC Chief Executive Officer Danny Jordaan added: "The inspection tour signals another major achievement on the road to South Africa meeting FIFA requirements.
"We are very happy with the outcome. A lot of hard work has been done by the host cities and considerable progress is being made. We want to give credit to all the host cities for that."
The inspection ended with a series of preparatory meetings for the November 25 Preliminary Draw in Durban, focusing on both the logistical and operational matters for the various draw-related activities, as well as the actual TV show itself.
The full evaluation report will be presented on Tuesday, October 16, to the Board of the 2010 FIFA Organising Committee, which will also be attended by FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke.
"We are committed to ensuring that the FIFA World Cup leaves a lasting legacy of social, environmental, economic and community benefits for each host city, but also for all South Africa and to demonstrate the power of football to change lives," said Valcke, who will come to South Africa early next week.