Thursday, January 04, 2007

Another nail in the South African World Cup Coffin

In the ongoing disaster that is the build up of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, another nail has been hammered into the coffin. According to, there is yet another cost increase in the building of the five new stadiums that are planned for the tournament. The new stadium to be built in Durban was scheduled to have construction begin at the end of this month; however the local government has postponed the announcement of the naming of the contractor due to a sudden rise in costs of building materials. The Durban government is holding out until it finds out whether or not the South African government will cover the new costs.

As the construction on that stadium looks as if it will be delayed, it is growing more and more likely that all 10 stadiums will not be completed in time for the tournament. One of the major problems is that the national government has set aside 1.95 billion Rand to cover the upgrade of five stadiums. One of those stadiums, the Johannesburg Soccer City had been priced at 1.2 billion Rand, leaving the other four stadiums only around 750 thousand Rand to cover their upgrades. These figures were all released before this latest round of cost increases, which figures to increase the cost of the upgrades, but not the budgeted funds to cover them.

The funniest thing about all of this is that I saw this coming, as I have talked about it before -

“I wouldn't start booking anything just yet. I still think that by Jan/Feb 2007, the price tag will balloon to $2.2 Billion and keep rising. FIFA will have its elections in May; then in June or July, FIFA will do an "in-depth investigation of the ability and safety of South Africa hosting the 2010 World Cup." Blatter will voice his opinion against the inquiry, but will say he has no power to stop it.

By October 2007, FIFA will announce that based on their findings, South Africa will not be prepared to host the 2010 World Cup. FIFA will then adjust their rotational schedule to allow South Africa to host the 2014 World Cup. FIFA will then entertain any offers for an emergency host for the 2010 Cup.

Germany, France, England, Australia and the USA will be the five nations considered for the new emergency host. England will be dropped first as they are attempting to bid for the 2018 event (which would be a better planned event with more time). UEFA, wishing to see England host the 2018 event, will work to get Germany and France moved out of the running as well, in order to not jeopardize England’s bid in 2018.

That will leave the USA and Australia. As Australia would not have large enough capacity stadiums for a FIFA World Cup (and FIFA is all about money) they will be offered (silently) the 2022 World Cup. The USA will host the 2010 World Cup, at NFL stadiums and pretty much be out of the running at least until 2038 World Cup.”

I have said this before and I will say it again, I do not want the South African’s to lose the 2010 World Cup. That said, I cannot see how they will be able to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Based on everything I have read and everything I have heard about how the government and crime is down there, will ever get the stadiums ready, get the infrastructure ready and get the vast amount of rampant crime under control, they will not be able to complete everything before the World Cup, or much less, the Confederations Cup a year before.



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