Durban's 2010 countdown show-stopper

Monday, March 1, 2010

Pretoria - Durban has promised delegates attending the 100 days countdown to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, "the best celebration event ever".

Durban will host the event on Tuesday which might be the last official event before the start of the games on 11 June.

From musicians to artists learning new steps and dance styles, to caterers finalising their menu, to engineers and event managers, all are working round-the-clock to make the event at the Moses Mabhida Stadium a show-stopper.

Ethekwini Mayor Obed Mlaba told BuaNews on Monday that it was a special honour for the city and the province to stage a spectacular event that will be talked about long after it is over.

Choosing Durban for the celebrations, Mlaba said, was an indication that FIFA and the LOC trust the city with hosting big events.

Alluding to the World Cup Preliminary Draw that took place in 2007, Mlaba said the 100 days countdown will be another spectacular event.

"The City of Durban and the province will pull out all the stops to ensure the success of the event."

The celebration would include a variety of activities. A special gala banquet and a football match at Durban's new Moses Mabhida Stadium are on the cards.

Durban will host the official launch and the extravagant celebration will include a special gala banquet to be addressed by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

The Presidency said Motlanthe will use this opportunity to reflect on the significant progress South Africa has made in preparing to host the World Cup.

"The engagement recognises the important role played and to be played by an estimated 15 000 media representatives who will cover the FIFA World Cup directly from South Africa," said the Presidency.

LOC chairperson, Irvin Khoza, will also speak at the event which he will use to reiterate South Africa's readiness for the World Cup.

Other dignitaries expected to attend include African soccer greats Roger Milla, Hossam Hassan, Patrick Mboma, Jay Jay Okocha, Doctor Khumalo and Mark Fish.

Tuesday's festivities will be a precursor to Wednesday evening's friendly match between South Africa and Namibia at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.