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Last Updated: Friday, 8 June 2007, 09:29 GMT 10:29 UK
Blatter heads to South Africa
Fifa president Sepp Blatter
Fifa president Sepp Blatter is to visit 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa
Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, will pay his first visit to South Africa since work began to build and upgrade stadia as the country prepares to host the 2010 World Cup.

Blatter, who expressed concern last year about the progress of construction work, is expected to inspect some of the 10 grounds which are to host matches, including Soccer City in Johannesburg and Green Point in Cape Town.

"Mr Blatter will be in South Africa on the 18 and 19th of June on a working visit," Tim Modise, spokesman for the Local Organising Committee (LOC), said.

"He will officially open the Safa (South Africa Football Association) and LOC offices in Johannesburg and hold meetings with the board and government officials."

Blatter said last September he wanted to see "pickaxes and shovels" swing into action but he appears to have been reassured by the start of work at all the sites since then, saying last month that "everything is going smoothly."

"I'm confident, Fifa is confident and the only thing that will stop us from holding the World Cup in South Africa would be a natural disaster," Blatter said.

Modise denied that Blatter's visit was an indication of any problems.

"He's not coming because there is a problem as many may think," he said.

The tournament will be the first time that Africa has hosted the event, which is expected to attract up to half a million foreign visitors.

SEE ALSO
SA hit back over 2010 World Cup
11 May 07 |  World Football
Blatter backs South Africa again
02 May 07 |  African


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