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By ESPN Staff

FIFA confident about 2010 World Cup preparations

ZURICH, Dec 6 (Switzerland) - FIFA president Sepp Blatter said he was confident that South Africa would be ready to stage the World Cup in 2010 despite concerns over delays in the building of new stadiums.

'We need to bring a little bit of fire (to the organisers),' Blatter told a news conference following a two-day meeting of FIFA's Executive Committee. 'But I am confident that everything will be ready on time.'

South Africa 2010 chief executive Danny Jordaan said the local organising committee planned to have five stadiums ready by December 2008 for use at the 2009 Confederations Cup.

He said the remaining five stadiums would be finished by October 2009.

With the exception of Cape Town's stadium, which is involved in a planning dispute, Jordaan said building work was expected to be under way on all sites by the first quarter of 2007.

The executive committee has now finalised the dates for the World Cup finals which will take place between June 11 and July 11, 2010.

It also confirmed that the allocation of World Cup places to the continental confederations would remain the same as for the 2006 World Cup with 13 qualifying places available for European nations and five available to African countries.

Africa will receive an additional sixth place, however, with South Africa receiving an automatic spot as hosts.

Asia and Oceania will again share five qualifying slots while the two American confederations will receive a total of eight places.