New football venue announced for FIFA World Cup 2010.
The Northern Cape and specifically the small town of Kakamas have won an appeal to have one of the preliminary world cup matches played at their grounds. After visiting the pitch, the FIFA officials deliberated for a few hours and eventually agreed that one match would be played at the rural grounds.
The brand new dust bowl outside the small town of Kakamas.
The local council and tribesmen had to prove to the FIFA officials that the pitch was playable on, and that there was enough room for spectators. The pitch is surrounded by a natural bank or bowl (hillside) giving all the potential spectators a wonderful view of the field and players. The pitch has recently been brushed of all rocks and pebbles, so should not trouble the players who are wearing body armour. The local council have promised to rid the area of snakes, scorpions and spiders.
Security fences surround the pitch and bricks mark the centre of the field.
Security of the players has always been the number one concern, but the tribesmen were quick to point out that the ground was surrounded by a fence, which would keep out the troublemakers. (foxes, small rabbits, wild animals etc).
Brand new pitch, soccer nets and raised spectator seating can be seen in the background.
Mr Ibullsh Itunot, the sports minister for Kakamas said,
We are delighted to be having one of the football world cup games held at our ground. We have not been told who will be playing here, but the local township are extremely excited at the prospect of having at least one international team playing on our famous “dust bowl” ground. All the big cities in South Africa are spending millions of rands building wonderful stadiums and we are proud to be apart of that world cup fever. We are a small community and this sort of worldwide visibility will put us on the map of the world. Obviously we can’t offer players and spectators the grandeurs that Cape Town, Durban or Johannesburg are offering, but I am sure player/spectator will experience Africa at it’s best.
Looking at the 2010 world cup calendar, it will be the only open air game where the pitch is totally void of any solid structure (concrete walls, stands, seating etc) and it will be the only green stadium. The openness of the pitch will come as a big relief to both players and spectators as temperatures at the ground often reach 35 degrees Celsius or above.
There was a suggestion to play the game at night, but the local tribesman are worried they will not be able to safely manage the players and / or spectators in the dark with only a few choice animals offering the needed light for the game.
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