A 50-member delegation from the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa (OC) and FIFA successfully completed an inspection of the five newly-built stadiums and the upgraded Soccer City stadium.
After travelling 4,000 kilometres to six cities in six days
to run the rule over the new stadiums, the operational experts concluded that
preparations are on track for all stadiums to be completed by the end of the
“This has been a very fruitful inspection tour for us. Where
before we had to visualise walls and seats, we now have been able to walk
around freely in the stadium as it will be during the tournament,” said the
OC’s head of delegation, chief competitions officer Derek Blanckensee in a
In most instances the physical construction of the stadiums
is virtually complete, with almost all seats installed and newly-laid pitches a
welcome sight at Nelson Mandela Bay
Stadium, Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium, Nelspruit’s Mbombela Stadium,
Polokwane’s Peter Mokaba Stadium and Johannesburg’s Soccer City Stadium.
“Overall we are very impressed with the achievements made.
In addition to the stadiums coming together we were equally pleased that the
teams of the OC, host cities and FIFA are working on a common vision on the
delivery of the event,” said Ron DelMont, who also stressed the importance of
next year’s test events to be able to fine-tune operational plans.
The tour comprised operational experts in the following
areas: competitions, broadcasting, media operations, medical, volunteers,
transport, logistics, safety and security, protocol, marketing, information
technology, hospitality, ticketing and risk management.
For the first time the tour also included a consultant from
the South African Disabled Alliance to oversee the provisions that have been
made for access for all spectators with disabilities. Of the 650,527 tickets
sold to date for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, 7,863 wheelchair tickets have been
OC CEO, Dr. Danny Jordaan, paid tribute to the host cities.
“They have all done us proud," he said. "They have ensured that their wonderful new stadiums
are built to the highest standards and are ready in time. The question has
always been raised as to whether we will be ready. This tour has provided ample
evidence that indeed we will be. Now the work of the Organising Committee and
FIFA begins in earnest as we take these stadiums and get them ready to host
World Cup matches."
This entails putting in place the temporary overlay
infrastructure which will be required to stage the tournament, such as the
stadium media centres, hospitality areas, accreditation centres, signage and
Inspections were also made of the venue specific team hotels
and the venue specific training sites in each city, with FIFA representatives
leaving the country in positive spirits and confident of South Africa’s ability
to host the event.
Peter Pedroncelli, Goal.com