11TH JUNE - 11TH JULY 2010



The first whistle of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa will be blown on 11 June 2010 and the final game will take place on July 11.

The 2010 start dates were announced by the FIFA Executive Committee at the conclusion of its two-day meeting in Zurich.

"The Executive Committee also expressed satisfaction on the status of preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and underlined its support for the Local Organising Committee (LOC)," the official FIFA website said.

According to the phases outlined by the LOC, stadium construction was to have started in January next year, but construction work at some stadiums has already begun.

The preliminary draw to pick which teams will play against each other in the soccer tournament in 2010, will be held in Durban on 23 November 2007.

Ahead of the major international showpiece, the FIFA Confederations Cup will also be hosted in South Africa in 2009 at some of the stadiums designated for 2010 FIFA World Cup matches.

The Confederations Cup will be staged in Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Rustenburg from 14 to 27 June 2009.

The Executive Committee also indicated the World Cup in 2014 would be hosted by a South American country in line with the rotation policy it decided on in May 2002.

The Committee has now opened the official bidding procedure for South American member associations.

"If only one association submits a bid and if this association meets all requirements, the procedure will be accelerated," the Executive Committee said. A decision on the host country will be announced in November 2007.

The Executive Committee approved the construction of 25 artificial turf pitches, one each in 25 African FIFA member states at a cost of 18.5 million US dollars.

This is part of the "Win in Africa with Africa" initiative.

The "Football for a Better World" fund, which incorporates "Win in Africa with Africa", implements and supports sporting and humanitarian projects in underprivileged regions worldwide.