Durban to fete ‘100 days’

2010-01-16 00:00

DURBAN will host the celebrations for 100 days to go until the World Cup kick-off, with a soccer match at Moses Mabhida Stadium and a banquet on March 2, Local Organising Committee CEO Danny Jordaan said yesterday.

Jordaan was speaking at a media luncheon at Moses Mabhida yesterday shortly after a meeting with the eThekwini council and Mayor Obed Mlaba, where Durban accepted to host the celebrations.

Jordaan said: “We are at an amazing moment because after winning the World Cup bid we are now in 2010 and actually sitting inside a World Cup stadium [Moses Mabhida] for 2010. And a few months from here we will see the first World Cup match in this stadium that we dreamt about and imagined, and now it is real.

“So what we want to achieve in Durban on March 2 is to have a banquet and focus on the stadium with a match. And to also recognise people on the African continent that helped to bring us here.

“Firstly the players — the great African players who were the first to go to play in Europe, such as [South Africa’s] Steve “Kalamazoo” Mok­one, Abedi Pele from Ghana, George Weah from Liberia, Roger Milla from Cameroon and Lucas Radebe from South Africa. We will honour the 11 greatest players from the continent at the banquet.

“We also want to to recognise the 32 teams that have qualified for Africa’s first World Cup. And also the 10 newly built official World Cup venues, and the contribution of the host cities.”

Jordaan said ahead of the banquet the LOC will visit all the host cities and tick off a final check list that the “airport expansion programme is done, that the stadium is done, that the base camps and training venues are in place, the transportation, security, hospitality, media, marketing and all the event elements”.

“Then at the banquet we will be able to say that with 100 days to go everything is now in place.”

Mayor Mlaba said details of the celebrations are still to be finalised, including whether Bafana Bafana will play their first match there.

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