Everything on track for 2010, says Jordaan

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cape Town - With just 219 days to go before the 2010 FIFA World Cup kicks off, everything is on track for a successful event, says 2010 Local Organising Committee boss, Danny Jordaan.

Jordaan, who was addressing the Tourism Portfolio Committee in Parliament today, said the improvement of infrastructure such as roads and airports, the building of 25 new hotels and the introduction of additional buses and airplanes were all on stream for the World Cup.

The World Cup was expected to attract 450 000 fans and contribute R30 billion to the economy.

Preparations for the event had so far helped create 20 000 direct jobs through the construction of stadia and 400 000 other jobs through various infrastructure projects, he said.

Jordaan said 680 000 tickets of the 3 030 077 tickets available to the public, had already been sold - including 82 000 tickets in the US.

In all, 120 000 tickets priced at R140 each and situated behind the goal posts, would be reserved exclusively for South Africans who were poor.

These were less than the cheapest tickets for both South Korea and Japan 2002 which were $50 (R394) and Germany 2006, which was priced at 35 euros (R407).

Jordaan said a decision was taken not to make these tickets available to all Africans who were poor, as the costs for someone for example living in Ghana would be too high if they had to pay R20 000 for air fares to get here and back.

The 20 000 construction workers who have worked on the stadia would each get two complimentary tickets to the opening games at the stadium they worked on, he said.

Ticket prices range between R490 to R3 150 for the opening match, R120 to R1 120 for group matches, R1 050 to R2 100 for the semi-finals and between R1 050 and R6 300 for the final.

Each of the 10 stadiums would host about five matches each, with the semi-finals being held in Durban and Cape Town and the final in Soccer City, Johannesburg.

With the final draw taking place on 4 December, Jordaan expected there to be a rush to buy tickets when the next ticket-buying phase opens on 5 December.

There will also be a two further sales phases running from 9 February to 7 April and thereafter from 15 April to 11 July.

However, Jordaan said one would also be able to buy tickets during the event itself as some fans whose team didn't advance would sell their tickets back to FIFA.

A total of 1.7 million rooms at an average rate of R2 300 a night, will be available for the World Cup, including 107 000 in neighbouring countries.

Mauritius would make 67 000 of these available and the local organising committee had already signed an agreement with the country to this effect.

Jordaan said host cities like Bloemfontein where there was a shortage of rooms, would make use of accommodation in neighbouring towns.

The local organising committee was also considering how to accommodate people with disabilities and a consultant had already been hired from the South African Disability Alliance to help with this, said the LOC's legal manager Leslie Sidibe.

While Europe has hosted 10 of the 19 soccer world cups and 18 of the 29 Olympic Games, 2010 would be Africa's first major sporting event, he said.

"I think if successful we will be able to put pressure on the IOC to award the Olympics to Africa," he said.

Asked by the portfolio committee what about the event kept him up at night, Jordaan said: "You don't know, you just have to deal with it".

He pointed out that the 1998 World Cup in France was hit by a strike by airline pilots and airport cleaners at the start of the event.

But he said maintaining strong relationships was key to avoiding possible disruptions such as strikes.

Fans can buy tickets through any FNB branch or online through the Fifa.com website

Those teams that have already qualified are: Mexico, USA, Honduras, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Ghana, Chile, Paraguay, Brazil, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Australia, Italy, Germany, Spain, Serbia, Denmark, Slovakia, Switzerland and England.

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