“We have delivered.”
These were the confident words of the Chief Executive Officer of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ Organising Committee (OC), Dr. Danny Jordaan, as he reflected on what has been a very successful 2008 for his team.
For Jordaan, the achievements of the last year leave no question as to South Africa’s ability to host the mega football event.
“Plan B has officially been declared dead. There has been tremendous progress in South Africa. All of the stadiums will be completed in time. Soccer City has made considerable progress and the roof is now 90% complete. In Port Elizabeth they are already putting in the seats, in fact at one stage they were putting in 1,000 seats a day. There is a real sense of urgency amongst the construction workers at all the stadiums,” said Jordaan as he addressed the media in Johannesburg.
Transport is an all important aspect to successfully hosting both FIFA tournaments and the past year has provided many milestones. “We are meeting all our targets and the infrastructure is going up,” said the OC’s Chief Officer of Transport and Logistics, Skhumbuzo Macozoma.
He listed FIFA’s approval of the OC’s transport plans for the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 and the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the opening of the new central terminal building at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, the completion of the high-occupancy traffic lanes in both Durban and Cape Town and the freeway development currently underway in Gauteng as some of the major transport highlights of 2008.
There has been tremendous progress in South Africa. All of the stadiums will be completed in time.
With the FIFA Confederations Cup around the corner, ticketing took the spotlight at the year-end wrap up.
“We are encouraged by the enthusiasm shown by the general public,” said the OC’s Head of Legal Affairs and Ticketing, Leslie Sedibe.
For Sedibe the biggest ticketing highlight has been the success of the FIFA Confederations Cup category four tickets, which are sold exclusively to South African residents and fixed at R70. More than half (53%) of the ticket applications for the FIFA Confederations Cup have been for category four tickets, indicating that there will be good local support for the tournament that takes from 14 June to 28 June next year, featuring Brazil, Egypt, Iraq, Italy, New Zealand, United States, South Africa and Spain in four South African host cities.
“You can clearly see the benefit (of category four tickets being exclusively available to South African residents) has been passed on to the public,” said Sedibe.
Further encouraging news this year was that $115 million worth of hospitality packages have already been sold for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, ahead of the public sale of tickets for the tournament in February next year.
All the worldwide television rights for the tournament have also already been sold. The OC also followed up the successful FIFA Preliminary Draw for the 2010 tournament with another slick Draw for the FIFA Confederations Cup last month, looking to 2009 with great confidence.