FIFA World Cup final venue ready

Monday, March 1, 2010

Johannesburg - Soccer City stadium, the venue for the opening and closing games of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, was declared ready by the sport's international governing body on Saturday.

FIFA Secretary-General Jerome Valcke said during a media tour of the facility - the start of a whirlwind tour of the country's World Cup stadiums - that Soccer City is among the best and the biggest stadiums in the world.

Valcke described the pitch as "immaculate" and added that it was time that people stop doubting the ability of South Africa to host the World Cup.

"As everyone can see the stadium is complete and I have no doubt every team that plays in this venue will find it awesome.

"It is undoubtedly one of the best stadiums in the world and I cannot wait for the start of the World Cup," said Valcke.

The stadium will host 94 000 people at the opening game between South Africa's Bafana Bafana and Mexico.

The media were shown around the impressive stadium, which also makes provision for physically challenged people so they too have easy access and front-row tickets to the showpiece.

"All our stadiums have facilities for people who are disabled, because we also want them to be part of the World Cup," said 2010 boss Danny Jordaan.

With the stadium having been completed, Jordaan said that they were confident that the outer perimeter will also be finished on time.

"As you can see, we are in the final stages of the completion of the whole construction and every team that plays here will find it eye-opening," added Jordaan.