The five African countries - Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Africa and Tunisia - bidding to host the 2010 World Cup made their official presentations to world football's governing body Fifa in Zurich on Tuesday.
The South African delegation make their presentaion to Fifa
FIFA President Sepp Blatter and General Secretary Urs Linsi met the delegations, accepted the dossiers and attended the official presentations of the bidding associations.
Blatter was particularly pleased that Fifa should be receiving delegation bids from five African nations.
"I am one of the many people who have done everything possible to ensure that Africa will one day be the setting for the World Cup finals," said Blatter.
"The commitment, motivation and dynamism of the bidders perrfectly illustrates the boundless enthusiasm that football generates on the African continent and entirely justify FIFA's decision," he added.
The Head of the Inspection Group for the 2010 World Cup and President of the Belgian football association, Jan Peeters, also attended the proceedings.
"Today has been a great success," he commented.
"I am now eager to get down to business, as are the other members of the FIFA Inspection Group.
"It is a crucial task and one which we will carry out with great relish."
The inspection visits to the bidding nations start next month when they go to Morocco for a week from October 7 and then South Africa for another week from October 29.
The remaining three countries will be visited next year.
A detailed report will subsequently be compiled, and members of the FIFA Executive Committee will use this to formulate their final decision regarding the host nation in spring 2004.
The Nigeria Football Association did not send a delegation to Zurich after the government decided on Monday not to back the bid.