FIFA: World Cup stadiums will be ready on time

JOHANNESBURG - FIFA insisted on Tuesday that all 10 stadiums for the 2010 World Cup will be ready on time despite an admission that four of them are likely to miss the first deadlines at the end of the year. Ellis Park in Johannesburg, the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein, Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria and the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace near Rustenburg were scheduled to have completed their renovations by the end of the year. However, officials have been forced to concede work will continue into 2009. FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke told a news conference all 10 venues would be completed in time for the 2010 finals. "None are ready now but they will all be ready on time for the 2010 World Cup finals and that's the most important thing," he said. Valcke said there would be no problem with the Confederations Cup, which will staged in the four venues from June 14-28 next year. "There is nothing to suggest there is any danger to the event," he said The four stadiums are among five which are being renovated for the World Cup. Soccer City in Johannesburg, which is due to host the opening match and the final, is the fifth. The other five stadiums are being built from scratch and have been set completion deadlines of December next year.