The opening match and final of the 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa will take place at the Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg.

Fifa’s executive committee said on Wednesday the decision was made on Tuesday by the bureau of the World Cup Organising Committee.

South African organisers had proposed Johannesburg as the site of the two matches more than a year ago. The stadium’s seating capacity is to be expanded from 80 000 to 94 700, South African organisers have said.

Fifa also delayed this year’s World Cup qualifying draw in Durban by two days to November 25 and approved the qualifying formats for its confederations.

In addition, it said hosts South Africa will be placed in Group A of the World Cup.

Also on Wednesday, Fifa appointed Jerome Valcke to succeed Urs Linsi as general secretary, the number two position in soccer’s governing body under president Sepp Blatter.

Valcke was Fifa’s director of marketing and TV until he was among four officials fired in December after a United States district court ruled Fifa misled MasterCard in awarding sponsorship rights for the 2010 and 2014 world cups to rival Visa. He was reinstated after a US appeals court ordered the decision to be reviewed, and Fifa and MasterCard last week agreed to a $90-million settlement.

PUBLICATION: Mail & Guardian Online
DATED: 28th June 2007