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Nigeria meet Benin in WAFU Cup semi final

Football
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By ESPN Staff

SA World Cup stadium not cut from test event

JOHANNESBURG, May 6 (Reuters) - South Africa's 2010 World Cup organisers said on Tuesday that the delayed stadium in Port Elizabeth was still among five venues due to host next year's Confederations Cup test event.

World soccer's governing body FIFA raised concerns last November over the pace of building at the 1.2 billion rand ($159.4 million) Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium and put the venue on notice in January.

Construction was further delayed by an industrial dispute and although the stadium has not been dropped, progress will be monitored closely.

'All five stadia are in for the Confederations Cup,' Irvin Khoza, chairman of South Africa's organising committee (LOC), told a news conference.

'But we will put the strict condition that there will be tight monitoring done by the (technical team) ... to make sure that all the five stadia are in compliance.'

Khoza added that if any selected stadium failed to comply with the deadline it would be left out of the June 2009 eight-team tournament held 12 months before the World Cup.

FIFA have already drawn up two separate calendars for the event, one with four venues and another with five to include Port Elizabeth.

FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke said Port Elizabeth has until March 2009 to finish work but that existing venues in Bloemfontein, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Rustenburg would not get an extension.

The LOC also said Confederations Cup tickets would cost $10, making it accessible for local football fans.

'It is very important that South Africans fill the stadium. This is the first opportunity to see world class teams,' organising committee chief executive Danny Jordaan said.