Thursday, January 25, 2007

World Cup 2010 news

The first kick is still 40 months away, but there is lots of news coming out of South Africa as they race to be ready in time. Here is just some of the news.

The nine host cities for the tournament are asking the treasury to change some rules to help move construction along. One of the major rules they would like to see is a removal of the requirement that they must prove that they can pay for the whole construction process prior to the start of work.

One has to wonder what chance that rule has of changing when it was also reported that the cost of the World Cup has already forced the delay in construction on a modern hospital. The 200-bed facility has been delayed 12-months because the treasury needs the money for preparation costs.

Sadly, another reason for the delay in construction has to do with the high HIV rate in the country. One out of every 11 South Africans has HIV. Due to the high rates among students, construction firms are struggling to find enough local engineers and technicians to cope with the building boom in the nine host cities.

On a different subject, the head of security for the event does not think the high crime rate will be an issue for fans because "because crime is concentrated in areas away from the chosen venues."

However, even with all these problems, African leaders are set to restate their support for South Africa during their annual meeting next month. They will also declare 2007 the year of African Football.

Finally, the country does seem very excited over their new national team coach Carlos Alberto Parreira. He might have failed to lead the Brazilian side anywhere good in Germany, but South Africa feels confident he will help develop their 'no-name' side into a team that will not be knocked out in the first round. For his part, Parreira seems happy to be working with players with smaller egos.

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