South Africa’s first newly-built 2010 World Cup stadium officially opened on Sunday in the coastal city of Port Elizabeth a year before kick-off next June.
“For us today?s first opening of a newly-built 2010 FIFA World Cup stadium is a huge boost,” said local organising committee chief Danny Jordaan.
“It demonstrates the capacity of SA’s (South Africa) construction industry and our commitment to deliver on all our 2010 FIFA World Cup promises,” Jordaan said in a statement.
Eight 2010 games, including a quarter final and a third and fourth place play-off, will be hosted at the city’s 48,000 seater Nelson Mandela Bay stadium.
The new ground hosts the touring British and Irish Lions rugby team on Tuesday when they will play a local Southern Kings Invitational side.
The 2010 curtainraiser Confederations Cup starts on Sunday at four refurbished stadiums in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Bloemfontein and Rustenburg.
Five additional new stadiums that will also be used in Africa’s first World Cup were “shaping up nicely” to be ready ahead of 2010, Jordaan said.
The eight nation Confederations Cup will be played for two weeks in four host cities. The World Cup follows a year later at 10 grounds in nine cities.
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