South Africa says Friday’s World Cup draw in Cape Town would be the biggest ever. The organizing officials have stressed that the country’s safety record in hosting major sports events is “second to none”. The event will be beamed to over 200 countries across the globe with over 1000 journalists in attendance.
Organizing head, Danny Jordaan is quoted saying that “Cape Town will put on a show that will dazzle the world”.
“We’ve clearly said that this will be the biggest draw in terms of numbers in terms of worldwide audience, with 200 countries worldwide that are going to take the feed from this hall, almost a 1000 journalists and the technical staff involved for the broadcast, so it is going to be a big draw show,” Jordaan said.
Jordaan described South Africa’s safety record in hosting major sports events as “second to none”, but stressed that he could not be held responsible for the country’s appalling social crime statistics.
He said South Africa had hosted top events such as the rugby and cricket world cups and the Confederations Cup without any major security problems. “Any team you mention who has been to South Africa, they will tell you they were safe,” Jordaan is quoted saying.
The tournament runs from June 11 to July 11.
The draw is set for 19:00 (SA time) with the 90-minute ceremony determining not just who plays who, but where they play in a crime-ridden country entrusted with hosting Africa’s first World Cup.
Jerome Valcke, France-born secretary general of world football governing body Fifa, will conduct a draw designed to split the 31 qualifiers and hosts South Africa into eight groups, reports say.
Reports say that five new and five renovated stadiums are now almost complete but concerns remain over transportation and accommodation shortfalls, as well as security in a nation where 50 people are murdered every day.
Meanwhile, a set of gold coins with the emblem of the 2010 World Cup have been unveiled in South Africa. The coins are decorated with both the South African and German Coat-of-Arms a symbol of the hand-over from the 2006 German World Cup to South Africa.
The coins cost $599 each.