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Roma's chance to bounce back

AS Roma
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By ESPN Staff

S.Africa poised for $858m World Cup spend

CAPE TOWN, July 25 (Reuters) - South Africa will soon begin work on its stadiums for the 2010 World Cup finals and the costs should run to about 6 billion rand ($858 million), the head of its local organising committee told parliament on Tuesday.

The tournament is expected to inject billions of rand into Africa's largest economy and create badly-needed jobs in a country with an unemployment rate officially estimated at over 25 percent.

'The World Cup will deliver an overwhelming positive outcome in economic terms,' Danny Jordaan said.

Jordaan, speaking to a committee debating a special Sports Measures Bill, said the building of four new stadiums and the refurbishment of a further four would all be under way by January.

He said construction of a new stadium in Port Elizabeth would begin in October, to be followed in November by work on a major revamp of Soccer City, the Johannesburg venue where the 2010 final will be played.

FIFA has allocated the South African local organising committee a budget of 3.2 billion rand with a quarter of the money already transferred to the country, Jordaan said.

A further $130 million has been given to the South African Football Association by world football's governing body.

Cape Town's new stadium will have a 70,000 capacity with a retractable roof, Jordaan said, and is earmarked to host one of the semi-finals.

Soccer City, which already has a capacity of 75,000, would be increased to a new capacity of 104,000. It will host the opening game and the final.

A total of three million tickets will be sold for the 2010 tournament, one third for the South African market, one third for international fans and the other third reserved for marketing partners and FIFA.

Jordaan said South Africa expected 350,000 visitors for the tournament in 2010, way down on the numbers in Germany.

'This is because of our geographical position and the cost of long distance travel,' said Jordaan.