On day three of their stay in the Colombian capital of Bogota, a visiting FIFA delegation took part in an important two-hour Cross-Sector Committee meeting with the country’s Vice-President Angelino Garzon to discuss the ongoing preparations for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Colombia 2011, which commences in on 29 July.

Joining them at the meeting were the heads of the Local Organising Committee as well as a number of city mayors, sports ministers and representatives of the national government.

Chaired by Vice-President Garzon, the meeting proved to be very productive and laid solid foundations for the government’s plans for the event. It also gave the parties present the chance to finalise details in several key areas, among them stadium infrastructures, training pitches, transport and security.

“We are very satisfied with the results of these meetings with the FIFA delegation,” commented LOC President Luis H. Bedoya Giraldo afterwards. “All the public and private parties involved in the U-20 World Cup have been working together closely and we’re on the right track. We know there’s still a lot of work to be done, but we’re sure that with the plans that have been put in place the country will respond admirably to this important challenge.”

The national government restated its continuing support for the tournament, which will be a landmark in Colombia’s history, and joined with FIFA and the LOC in announcing that preparations remained right on schedule, with the final phase due to begin on 27 April.  

Also at the meeting was the Mayor of Bogota, Samuel Moreno Rojas, and his counterparts from Cartagena, Judith Pinedo; Medellin, Alonso Salazar; and Pereira, Israel Londono Londono. All of them made presentations on the event and received feedback from those attending.

“We’ve had three very intensive days of work here and we’ve dealt with a lot of issues, such as marketing, communications, transport, voluntary workers, protocol and security,” explained Inaki Alvarez, FIFA’s Competition Director for Colombia 2011. “Everything has gone very well. There’s a lot to be done at the stadiums, the training grounds and elsewhere. We need to keep on working hard but we’re making good progress.”

The meeting brought the FIFA delegation’s visit to an end. The build-up to Colombia 2011 will continue, however, and the next key date in the countdown is April 27, when the Official Draw will be held at the Julio Cesar Turbay Ayala Convention Centre in Cartagena.