As the world's best football nations fight through gruelling qualifying campaigns to make it to the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, one of the world's most picturesque cities stands ready to warmly welcome them.
Cape Town mayor Dan Plato and Chief Executive Officer of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa (OC), Dr Danny Jordaan, today signed the service level agreement for Cape Town to host the tournament's Final Draw at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on 4 December this year.
The Draw, which is expected to be broadcast in almost 200 countries and attended by about 2 000 guests and around 800 media representatives, will determine the match order for the world's top 32 teams who will contest Africa's first FIFA World Cup from 11 June to 11 July 2010.
The agreement sets out the roles and responsibilities for the two parties in staging the event and to provide all the necessary support services. It was signed in typically Cape Town entertainment fashion, with minstrels from the world-famous Cape Town Minstrel Carnival providing the musical accompaniment and performing the popular tune Welcome to Cape Town.
Executive Mayor Dan Plato said excitement and anticipation amongst the residents of Cape Town was starting to mount as the Final Draw and the 2010 FIFA World Cup approaches.
"We can't wait for the fourth of December and we can't wait for 2010 to welcome all the visitors and spectators to our city. Cape Town is ready and prepared to deliver a memorable Final Draw and to provide unique visitor experiences for visitors and the soccer fraternity alike. The timing coincides with Cape Town's festive season and all stakeholders are working together on integrated planning and preparations for the event," the mayor said.
Jordaan said the Final Draw in South Africa's scenic Mother City would capture the imagination of the football world and would be a week-long event featuring a number of activities staged by FIFA, the Organising Committee, the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape Provincial Government and all South Africa's Host Cities.
"There are two projects left in the delivery of the 2010 FIFA World, the Final Draw this December and then the tournament itself starting next June. The FIFA Confederations Cup has really shifted the mood world-wide. Where people once questioned and doubted, we've now reached a position where people are looking forward in anticipation and excitement to the FIFA World Cup in South Africa," said Jordaan.
"The Final Draw in Cape Town is a critical date and an important milestone for us. And we could not find a better city in which to host it. Cape Town's a wonderful location and its Green Point stadium is a landmark, one of the best in the world," Jordaan added.
The Executive Mayor said the 2010 FIFA World Cup came at an opportune time for the city and had already created a number of job opportunities, especially in the infrastructure sector.
"The impetus of expenditure and investment in infrastructure for 2010 could not have come at a better time to counteract the effects of the economic slump. While not every individual or suburb of Cape Town will benefit directly from the World Cup, improved facilities, services and infrastructure will benefit all indirectly," said Plato.