FIFA 2010 comes to Cape Town early!

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Cape Town is in  a frenzy to beautify itself before the world’s media and the FIFA big brass come to Cape Town for the FIFA Final draw on 4 December, which will be held in the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

Roadworks are hastily being completed on Buitengracht Street, near the Convention Centre, to make Cape Town look at its best for the very important event in the FIFA 2010 World Cup programme.

For the first time, the driving and advertising exclusion zone has been announced, simply by an ad in the Cape Argus, outlining the ‘Final Draw Controlled Access and Exclusion Zones’.

The block of streets between Ross Street, 2 streets parallel to Buitengracht Street in Green Point/De Waterkant and Parliament Street, and Buitensingel Street/N1/N2 entrances to Buitengracht Street, now has restrictions placed upon it until 12 December, in terms of the City of Cape Town’s 2010 By-law.   No advertising linked to the World Cup may appear in this zone in the period specified, without formal FIFA permission, and businesses may also not “change their normal business operation without approval from the City of Cape Town”, says the ad!   The ad warns that access into the zone on 4 December may be restricted.

On the day of the Final Draw, a public viewing area will be established at the top of Long Street, and restaurants in the area are stocking up on supplies for thirsty soccer fans, fearing lack of access for deliveries on the big day.   It is expected that 20 000 visitors will attend the Final Draw party in Long Street.   A section of Long Street will be cordoned off on 3 December already, reports the Cape Argus.

The FIFA Final Draw will randomly select which teams play against each other in which locations, influencing where the teams are based during the World Cup period, and is the precursor to accommodation bookings and other arrangements for the big soccer event.

At the Final Draw FIFA President Sepp Blatter is also expected to announce the location of the Fan Fest venues for 2010.

The 32 teams that have qualified for the 2010 World Cup are:   Portugal, France (a controversial match, for which a replay is being demanded by the Irish), Slovenia, Greece, Algeria, Uruguay, Japan, the Netherlands, North Korea, Australia, South Korea, the USA, Brazil, Ghana, England, Paraguay, Spain, Denmark, Ivory Coast, Chile, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Serbia, Argentina, Switzerland, Honduras, Slovakia, Nigeria, Cameroon, New Zealand and South Africa.

The Japanese team is setting up its base camp at Fancourt in George, while the German team is said to be considering Val de Vie, between Paarl and Franschhoek.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com

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