South African gov't says all ready for Confederation Cup

JOHANNESBURG, June 10 (Xinhua) -- All is in order to ensure the FIFA Confederation Cup is a success, South Africa's government said on Wednesday.

"South Africa is well-ahead in its preparations to ensuring a safe and secure 2009 FIFA Confederation Cup," spokesman Tiyani Rikhotso said in a statement.

All four of the venues for the event -- Ellis Park in Johannesburg, Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, Free State stadium in Bloemfontein and Royal Bafokeng stadium in Rustenburg -- are ready, he added.

The government was responsible for general security while venue security was the responsibility of the Local Organizing Committee.

The SA Police Service would use 41,000 officers for the event. Of these 31,000 would be permanent members and 10,000 police reservists. A total of 8,000 officers would ensure the safety of the Confederation Cup.

Rikhotso said technical teams had been sent to municipalities to help put in place transport projects to ease the movement of fans and tourists during the tournament.

There had also been good progress with installing information and telecommunication networks, including setting up the international broadcast centre at Nasrec in Johannesburg.

The tournament's opening match on Sunday would see South Africa play Iraq. Tickets were almost sold out.

"All signs are there that we are heading for a fully packed Cup, as will the 2010 World Cup," said Rikhotso.