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Page last updated at 16:23 GMT, Tuesday, 8 July 2008 17:23 UK

Port Elizabeth stadium dropped

Irvin Khoza
Khoza says that the stadium will be ready for the 2010 World Cup
The 2010 World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC) has decided to remove the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth from the 2009 Confederations Cup schedule.

However, the LOC still believes that the venue will be ready for the 2010 World Cup.

The decision was taken on Tuesday, after receiving a report from the LOC's technical team, which says that the completion of the stadium is unlikely to meet the 30 March 2009 deadline.

"With the complex nature of the construction and erection of the roof of the stadium, it was decided that it would be too high a risk to keep the stadium in the Confederations Cup schedule," said LOC chairman Irvin Khoza.

"We reiterate that the stadium will be a wonderful venue in 2010."

The LOC met with a delegation of world football's governing body, Fifa, led by its secretary general Jerome Valcke.

Valcke also expressed confidence that the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium will be ready for 2010, when the World Cup comes to Africa for the first time.

"In 2010 it will be an outstanding stadium in a great location worthy of the big name it stands for - there is no doubt about it", he said.

The Confederations Cup is an eight-team tournament staged by the World Cup hosts a year before the tournament, featuring the holders, hosts and continental champions.

It is seen as an opportunity to test the hosts' preparedness for holding the world's biggest single-sport event.

see also
Two years to SA 2010 kick-off
10 Jun 08 |  African

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