FIFA begin inspections of 2010 World Cup venues

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JOHANNESBURG, Oct 7 (Reuters) FIFA begin a formal inspection tomorrow of South Africa's progress in preparing for the 2010 World Cup, the first visit since stadia construction began in earnest at the beginning of the year.

A FIFA delegation will visit four of the nine host cities on a three-day trip starting in Johannesburg on Monday, South Africa's Local Organising Committee (LOC) said today.

They will visit Johannesburg's Soccer City, venue for both the opening match and the final and which has been undergoing a major renovation, before travelling to Port Elizabeth and Cape Town to see progress on new stadiums in the coastal cities.

The inspection ends on Wednesday in Durban, where the draw for the qualifying competition will be held on November 25.

''We are sure the inspection team will find a lot of progress has been made since the last tour a year ago, particularly in the areas of stadium construction,'' said LOC chief executive officer Danny Jordaan.

''They will see that a lot of hard work has gone into the preparations for the preliminary draw,'' he added.

REUTERS SSC KN2012

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