PtG Article 28.01.2010

Opening of World Cup stadium delayed

The opening of the stadium that will host this year’s World Cup Final in South Africa has been delayed.

The Soccer City Stadium in the Johannesburg township of Soweto was due to open on February 20 with a derby between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs but the clubs have been told to look for an alternative venue.

The Soccer city stadium was initially supposed to be handed over to FIFA by October 2009 but last summer a large-scale strike among the construction workers delayed the labour. At the time of the strike, the organisers assured the press that they expected all venues to be fully functional by December 2009.The online news channel World Football Insider visited Soccer City last month and found the stadium to be far from finished. “While the stadium itself looks nearly ready, work on the exterior concourses are either in their early stages or not underway at all,” WFI reports. According to WFI they were ensured by a spokesperson for the city of Johannesburg that the stadium would be ready by February. 

The 90,000 capacity Soccer City will stage the first and last games in the World Cup and is one of two stadiums for the finals still not complete with kick off only months away.