Wednesday, July 8, 2009

2010 World Cup in Doubt?


Oh oh. Looks like the the 2010 World Cup in South Africa could be in for a bit of trouble. 

A large-scale strike in South Africa has led to renewed fears that stadiums will not be ready for the 2010 World Cup. Some 70,000 construction workers in South Africa have gone on strike, halting work on stadiums being built for the Cup.

The workers are reportedly seeking a 13 percent pay rise and there are worries that a prolonged strike could jeopardize key projects such as the 94,000-seater Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg.

Stadiums in Cape Town and Durban are also facing a race against time to be finished by the deadline of December set by FIFA, world football's governing body.

Six entirely new stadiums are being built for the World Cup, while four are being modernized, along with a host of other infrastructure projects to help cope with the influx of nearly half a million football fans to South Africa next June.

Danny Jordaan, head of the World Cup organizing committee, said he respected the right of the workers to strike but felt the dispute would be resolved without affecting the construction schedule.

"The construction workers have been the lifeblood of the 2010 Fifa World Cup project," he said in a statement.

"Their hard work has ensured that we are on track to meet our deadlines and that our stadiums will be among the best in the world next year."

Correspondents say if the strike continues projects such as the high-speed rail link between the airport and Johannesburg will be of greater concern than the stadiums. The rail-link is scheduled to be operational just two weeks before the tournament starts.

MY POV: This is exactly the type of news you DON'T want to hear one year before the world's biggest sporting event. Time if of the essence, especially for infrastructure projects like the high-speed rail link. 

Get it together, guys!!! No need for this type of infighting with the event so close! 

Can you imagine what would happen if the World Cup was pushed back or delayed because of all this? 

Not pretty, folks ... 



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