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Blatter heads to SA for 2010 inspection tour

by Michael Appel
on 11 Sep 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

FIFA President Sepp Blatter will visit South Africa from 14-17 September to see the progress made on the 2010 FIFA World Cup infrastructure.

The 2010 Organising Committee (OC) on Thursday announced that Mr Blatter will travel to South Africa for a four-day trip.

"Mr Blatter will visit facilities in Cape Town and Johannesburg to get a first hand impression of the progress of the preparations for next year's FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

"The FIFA President will be accompanied on his trip by FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke and South African Local Organising Committee Board member Tokyo Sexwale," the OC reported.

As part of his visit, the FIFA president will meet with President Thabo Mbeki on Sunday evening.

Other meetings are planned with various personalities including former President of South Africa and Nobel Peace Prize winner FW de Klerk, African National Congress (ANC) President Jacob Zuma, Western Cape Premier Lynne Brown, Executive Mayor of Cape Town Helen Zille, Executive Mayor of Johannesburg Amos Masondo and Gauteng Premier Mbhazima Shilowa.

Mr Blatter arrives in South Africa a mere 634 days ahead of the first FIFA World Cup to touch Africa's soil.

The draw for next year's Confederations Cup groups is scheduled to take place on 22 November 2008 with the tickets for the tournament - seen as a test of World Cup infrastructure - going on sale the next day.

The Confederations Cup will be staged in four stadia across South Africa from 14-28 June next year.

The FIFA Confederations Cup boasts an inspiring line-up, including the selectors of Brazil as Copa America and reigning FIFA Confederations Cup winners, 2006 FIFA World Cup winners Italy, hosts South Africa, European champions Spain, African champions the Pharaohs of Egypt, first-time Asian champions Iraq and CONCACAF Gold Cup winners the USA. - BuaNews

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