Fifa okays stadiums

Posted On Tuesday, 02 March 2010 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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Fifa secretary-general Jerome Valcke says Cape Town pitch should be the benchmark for all others.

2010Port Elizabeth is banking on a dazzling soccer star to haul in thousands of fans to its new 46 000-seat stadium for the 2010 World Cup.

The executive mayor of the Nelson Mandela Metropole, Lanoxolo Wayile, said Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo would be used as a draw card. His team will play Ivory Coast at the stadium in Port Elizabeth in June.

"We have been informed that lots of people across the country want to come here and watch the game between Portugal and Ivory Coast," he said.

The country's 10 World Cup stadiums were given the thumbs-up by Fifa.

On the eve of the 100 days to kick-off of the world's greatest sporting spectacle, Fifa secretary-general Jerome Valcke gave them a rating of eight out of 10.

"But we will be at 10 on June 11. We have tackled most of the issues, if not all. In terms of readiness, South Africa is ready to host 2010," he said at a press conference at the Cape Town stadium.

Valcke, with local organising committee chief executive Danny Jordaan, has been on a tour of the country's stadiums with 130 foreign and local journalists since Friday.

Valcke said the pitch at Cape Town stadium "should be a benchmark for all of our stadiums".

"It's an amazing stadium and teams playing here will be playing in a perfect place," he said.

Valcke was stumped when asked whether there were concerns about prostitutes flooding the country during the World Cup. "At least it's not a Fifa requirement," he joked.

Valcke said prostitution existed everywhere and that it was debated when Germany hosted the last World Cup.

"Girls came to Germany. It will happen. There is nothing we can do and it's not a Fifa issue," he said.

But Western Cape Premier Helen Zille insisted that prostitution would not be tolerated in the city.

Zille said the sex industry could not be separated from human trafficking at a time such as the World Cup.

"There are many highly unscrupulous people abusing women, often very vulnerable women, as well as children, in the sex-trafficking industry.

"We have a team working on this particular issue," Zille said. "It's not as simple as saying we've got to leave adults free to make their own private choices."

She said getting the stadium off the ground was one of the greatest challenges of her life because "the piece of land on which the stadium is built is one of the most sensitive pieces of land in South Africa".

She said she was initially in favour of extending the existing Newlands stadium instead of building a new stadium, but Fifa chief Sepp Blatter would not agree.

In Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape Premier Noxolo Kiviet said her province was ready to host the World Cup, saying: "Our stadium has been hailed as unique and spectacular by many."

But Nelson Mandela Metro mayor Zanoxolo Wayile said transport was the biggest problem, with "some" roads "75% complete". His city is awaiting a new fleet of buses from Brazil.

 

Last modified on Thursday, 31 October 2013 07:19

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