Thursday, July 10, 2008

Three Countries On World Cup Plan B List

This from BBC Sport:
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has spoken to three countries about hosting the 2010 World Cup if a natural catastrophe forces it away from South Africa.

Concerns are mounting about South Africa's preparations for the hosting of the tournament.

"I have spoken to three possible, not only possible, but three associations and countries that would be able to stage the World Cup.

"They need one year (to prepare)," Blatter told Sky News.

Blatter would not reveal the three countries.
South Africa will host the Confederations Cup next summer and have pulled one stadium for the site list for the tournament because it will not be ready in time. This is not a good sign.

Leaving aside crime and security problems for which South Africa is planning to have upwards of 30,000 police officers on the rolls, the rumors out of South Africa indicate that infrastructure is going to their big downfall. Between stadium problems, fan zone locations and transport problems, there are real concerns.

Here is the problem. South Africa is the first African nation to host the World Cup. While it is a big honor to do so, FIFA risks as great deal on this matter if South Africa doesn't put on a quality tournament. A poor tournament will doom African football for at least a decade and an African nation will no be tapped to host a World Cup for the better part of 20 or 30 years.

But part of South Africa's problem is Brazil, who is slotted to be the host in 2014. Brazil's long standing football corruption problems could be a problem. Their stadiums are in poor condition and it might turn out that they will need to be rescued as well.

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