With just one day left until the draw for the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009, it is all systems go at the Sandton convention centre. The 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ Local Organising Committee (LOC) and FIFA held a joint press conference for the international and local media, who have descended on Sandton to cover the draw taking place tomorrow evening.
For FIFA and the LOC, there is no longer a question about South Africa's readiness to host a major event. "We are ready," proclaimed FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valke.
For the LOC's Chariman, Dr Irvin Khoza, the FIFA Confederations Cup is more than just a rehearsal for South Africa 2010. "In the future we believe it will be a stand-alone FIFA tournament."
After the draw, tickets for the FIFA Confederations Cup will go on sale. For the LOC this is the area that requires the most focus. "This is one of our major challenges. We do not want to just fill the stadiums for the high-profile matches, we want all the games full," explained the organisation's Chief Executive Officer, Dr Danny Jordaan. He appealed to the media in the room, telling them that they would play a big part in publicising the upcoming tournament.
Valcke went on to explain the ticketing system to the media. There are two ways in which people can apply for tickets. Fans can either log on to FIFA.com or they can go to any First National Bank (FNB) branch around the country to apply for tickets.
The LOC revealed the ticket prices, explaining that there will be a special 'category 4' ticket, priced at 70 rand, reserved for South African citizens only. For the final of the FIFA Confederations Cup, the cheapest ticket will be 210 rand while the most expensive will be 1,400 rand. "Through this we can give back to the South African citizens who are part of this process," said Khoza.
Valcke, responsible for the draw process, will be assisted by some very special ladies. The various Miss World contestants, in town for this years Miss World competition, will be on stage to help out.
Miss South Africa, Tansey Coetzee, was on hand at the press conference. "The excitement is growing here and all eyes are turning to South Africa. It is so lovely being a part of this, all the Miss Worlds have told me this is the best place to be."
Jordaan added: "It will be a wonderful opportunity for the fans to get a taste of a FIFA World Cup atmosphere in the stadiums. We are confident that South Africans will not want to miss the opportunity to see some of the best teams in world football."
The draw in perspective
900 invited guests
200 broadcast and press journalists in attendance
Draw broadcast to 187 countries
850,000 FIFA Confederations Cup tickets made available the next day (23 November)