Sunday, April 16, 2006

We're Tanned, Rested and Ready

2010, too?

Could the men's World Cup be in the USA in 2010? There's precedent -- FIFA hastily rescheduled the 2003 Women's World Cup from China to the US when the SARS epidemic threatened.

Sunday Times (uk): Struggling South Africa raises fears over hosting of World Cup

WHEN South Africa won the right to stage the 2010 football World Cup — the first country in Africa to do so — there was national rejoicing. The country had placed such importance on winning that Nelson Mandela and a raft of ministers were sent to Geneva to lobby Fifa, the game’s world governing body.

Now, however, serious doubts are emerging about the country’s readiness and ability to stage the event.


Fifa demands that all host cities sign contracts guaranteeing dedicated traffic lanes for its officials and players, the cessation of all building work throughout the tournament, free office space, telephone, internet and communications equipment and large-scale infrastructure works including back-up power grids — not just to keep the lights on in stadiums but to ensure that street lights, traffic lights and hotel lifts are fully functioning. Currently no South African city can promise this.

South Africa’s infrastructure is decaying. In Johannesburg street and traffic lights do not work in large areas of the city, weeds grow in the road and routine maintenance has all but ceased. Public transport is virtually nonexistent and the roads are quite unable to cope with traffic volumes.

Recent blackouts in the Cape resulted in huge jams as traffic lights failed and saw hundreds trapped in office lifts, billions lost in agriculture and industry and horrific sewage spills that have made the water dangerous to drink.

Despite steeply rising demand, not a single power station has been built since the ANC came to power in 1994.

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