3 August 2009
As national football teams around the world battle through qualifying games to make it to the 2010 Fifa World Cup, Cape Town is gearing up to host the tournament’s final draw event.
Cape Town’s International Convention Centre will be cast into the limelight on 4 December, when Fifa will announce the grouping and match order for the world’s top 32 teams to contest Africa’s first World Cup.
The much-anticipated final draw is expected to be broadcast live in almost 200 countries and attended by over 2 000 VIP guests and around 800 media representatives.
Roles and responsibilities
Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato and Local Organising Committee CEO Danny Jordaan last week signed an agreement that sets out the roles and responsibilities for the two parties in staging the event and providing all the necessary support services.
Plato said excitement among Cape Town residents was starting to mount as the final draw and the World Cup approached.
“We can’t wait for 4 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,” Plato addedd.
Plato said the 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,” Plato said.
Anticipation and excitement
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 LOC, 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 World Cup, the final draw this December and then the tournament itself starting next June,” he said.
Jordaan said the Fifa Confederations Cup had shifted the mood worldwide.
“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,” he said.
He added that the Final Draw in Cape Town was a critical date and an important milestone for South Africa. “And we could not find a better city in which to host it. Cape Town’s a wonderful location, and its Greenpoint Stadium is a landmark, one of the best in the world.”
Five countries have already successfully qualified for the finals: these are Australia, Japan, North Korea, Netherlands and South Korea.