Monday, April 5, 2010

Despite Concerns Along the Way, South Africa's Cup Preparations Come Together

This article from The Guardian looks at some of the problems that have plagued South Africa throughout its World Cup preparations, and also some of the successes the country and its event organizers have achieved.

Given the exacting scale of the task set by Fifa to host its landmark tournament, huge progress has been made to produce 10 venues of the required capacity finished on time, a massive road expansion programme, and rail links including new terminals built next to each of the five stadiums specifically built for the tournament. Practically, the competition can definitely go ahead, a prospect that has not always been certain as construction was punctuated by workers striking over pay. Security in a country sporting ugly crime statistics has been a persistent concern which, together with the fears that the infrastructure would not be ready, led to Fifa reportedly preparing contingency plans to move the event.

South Africa has responded with the promise of a blanket deployment of police and security officers – with 41,000 policing the World Cup alone – and the army and Interpol closely involved. Fans will be given precise instructions about which well-trodden paths not to stray from.

World Cup 2010: Will £800m buy positive images of South Africa?
April 1, 2010