28 September 2009
The City of Cape Town’s catchphrase for the 2010 Fifa World Cup™ is “ready to welcome the world”.
Rather than a catchy, throwaway line, however, city officials are working flat out to ensure they are true to those words, and are meticulously planning to ensure they are indeed ready in all respects when it matters most.
Cape Town’s first opportunity to showcase its readiness for global sport’s biggest showpiece will come when it hosts the Final Draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) on Friday, 4 December 2009.
Thursday, 24 September was a public holiday in South Africa, but this certainly wasn’t the case inside room 1.40 of the CTICC on Thursday morning as over 100 City, Western Cape Province, Fifa and 2010 Organising Committee officials gathered to fine-tune plans for the Draw.
Illustrating the city’s commitment to staging a successful Draw for the world’s football fraternity was the fact that the city’s executive deputy mayor, Ian Nielson, was personally on hand and an eager participant in the deliberations.
While Cape Town is a picturesque city that receives its fair share of international acclaim for its many tourist offerings, the Final Draw for Africa’s first football World Cup will be a mega showcase for the city as it welcomes the world’s media, broadcasters and Fifa football family, as well as the coaches of all the qualified teams such as Fabio Capello, Dunga and Bert van Marwijk.
With football powerhouses such as England, Brazil, Holland, Japan, the two Koreas and Ghana among the countries that have already qualified for the World Cup, excitement is mounting for the Draw – which will determine the tournament’s groupings and match locations.
“We’re looking forward to the Final Draw,” said Nielson. “The fact that so many people are here today on a public holiday shows the great interest and commitment we have to host the greatest World Cup ever here in Cape Town.
“The city is really starting to feel the bustle and excitement of hosting the Draw,” Nielson added. “But we don’t just want to host a very good Draw, but an excellent one that will be remembered for a long time to come.”
An exciting Draw week is planned, which will showcase Cape Town and South Africa’s music, history, exquisite scenery, culture and, most visibly, the city’s showpiece Green Point Stadium – which will host one of the World Cup’s semi-final games.
But before what’s set to be a huge party takes place in one of the country’s entertainment meccas, the hard work and grind that precedes it is proceeding well.
Transport routes for the event were discussed on Thursday, as well as back-up routes, accreditation procedures, medical facilities, broadcast positions, photographer positions, media working areas, branding concepts and security plans, among a host of other of issues.
And at the end of a productive day, the consensus was that Cape Town is on its way to being “ready to welcome the world” and making good on its confident tournament slogan.