Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fifa: South Africa Not Ready

Wow. This is like your mom saying, "Actually, he's not getting it done."

If Fifa says anything negative about a host country's preparations ... that's a punch to the gut equivalent to 20 or 30 rants in the British press. As an organizing committee, you expect unconditional love from Fifa.

If Fifa's No. 2 guy says "no, they're not ready," he's saying, "you better get going because we're not going to cover for you anymore."

Jerome Valcke, Sepp Blatter's favorite boy, said that today. "Could we host the World Cup tomorrow morning? The answer is no."


He is correct, of course.

He cited several issues:

--The main stadium, Soccer City venue in Johannesburg, is not finished. The first match will be played there in little over 100 days. The stadium not being ready ... is an issue. A few days ago, Valcke said something to the effect that it's never a comfortable feeling when the main stadium isn't ready. Uh, yeah.

--Fifa and South Africa 2010 have 700,000 tickets (of 2.9 million) still to sell.

--The quality of the playing surfaces is patchy.

--Some of the accommodations for the incoming teams aren't done, either. Such as that allegedly posh place England would be staying at. Not done.

So, there's a shot over the bow, for South Africa. Clean this stuff up. Finish it off. Momma Fifa says you need to get it done.
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