More stadiums set to be opened

JOHANNESBURG - Two more of South Africa's new World Cup stadiums will open to the public this weekend with matches planned in Cape Town and Polokwane to mark the occasion.

The opening of the 70,000-seater Cape Town Stadium and 45,000 capacity Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, some 300km north of Johannesburg, means just two more venues have to be completed and begin pre-tournament testing before the finals.

They are Soccer City, where the tournament's opening match on June 11 and the final a month later will be played, and the Mbombela Stadium at Nelspruit.

South Africa has built six new stadiums for this year's World Cup and renovated four more.

Cape Town's stadium will stage a derby between the city's two premier league clubs - Ajax Cape Town and Santos.

Polokwane plans to host three South Africa top-flight teams plus Danish club side Brondby in a one-day tournament with two semi-finals in the morning followed by an afternoon final.

Both venues have restricted the capacity on Saturday as they test their facilities for the first time.

All of the 20,000 seats for the Cape Town event have been sold out while 30,000 tickets are being sold in Polokwane.

Officials are hoping Soccer City, which will have a capacity close to 95,000, can open its doors to the public for the first time next month.

There are plans to switch the traditional Soweto derby between the country's most popular clubs, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, to the venue on February 20, league officials told Reuters.

Nelspruit's new stadium has had to have a new pitch laid, after drainage problems with the first, postponing its planned December opening.

But local officials said they were still going ahead with plans to host a friendly international between Ghana and Bosnia-Herzegovina there on March 3.