Fifa gives SA highest grading by Marjolein van der Stad
Posted on 03 May 2004 - 23:10
South Africa will hear on Tuesday that it received the highest grading of the five African countries in the race to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup tournament.
The reports of the technical adjudication of the five countries will be published officially on the website of Fifa, the International Soccer Federation, on Tuesday afternoon.
Informed sources say South Africa received the highest grading, followed by Egypt and Morocco. Tunis and Libya share the fourth place.
Sepp Blatter, chairperson of Fifa, announced during his visit to South Africa last week that the report would be published.
"It's expected that the announcement of the reports could have a major influence on which country would eventually be given the rights to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup. It's a surprise that Morocco wasn't in second place.
Morocco and South Africa are seen as the favourites. If the technical committee put Morocco in third place, it could influence the final voting.
The report was compiled by a committee of five under Jan Peeters, chairperson of the Belgian soccer association. The committee judged the five countries in the running between September and January and Fifa is to make an official announcement on May 15 on who will host this event.
It looked at infrastructures, stadiums, telecommunications, hotels, hospitals and transport systems.
The information obtained by the committee has to be given to the 24 members of Fifa's executive, who have to decide on May 15 who will host the 2010 tournament.
When the host country for the 2006 World Cup tournament was announced, Fifa didn't divulge the reports. The contents were, however, leaked to the media and it became known that South Africa and Germany were the favourites
Germany won with one vote in a controversial fashion after the New Zealander, Charles Dempsey, abstained.
England, who were third, said Fifa had leaked the document and had jeopardised the country's chances to host the tournament.
Morocco, who are trying for the fourth time to host the World Cup, lost in the first round of voting the last time bids were considered.