South Africa stadiums all systems go

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa declared it was "all systems go" on Friday when it announced the 10 World Cup venues were ready for June's tournament following a final FIFA inspection tour.

"We can say with confidence we have delivered on our promise of 10 world-class stadiums and delivered them months before the tournament even starts," local Organising Committee chief executive officer Danny Jordaan said on Friday.

He was speaking at the end of the 10-day inspection of the venues across nine South African cities.

"We have certainly travelled a long road since the first stadium inspection tour in 2005. With each inspection we have seen the stadiums develop from an idea on a piece of paper in an architect's office to the magnificent football arenas that we see before us today."

Six new venues have been built for the month-long tournament and a further four renovated, with Jordaan saying it was "all systems go" for the opening match in Johannesburg on June 11.

He added the focus would now turn to "the final detail".

"No longer are we inspecting where a particular wall will be built but where team buses will park, ensuring that security arrangements are nailed down and making sure the fans will be provided with correct signage to take them to their seat," he said.

Organisers had to deal with years of media speculation that FIFA might move the tournament away from South Africa, as well as repeated concerns over accommodation, transport and security.

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