Cape Town approves 2010 stadium

21 July 2006 at 06:07 | 909 views

Cape Town’s mayor has reluctantly agreed to the construction of a controversial new stadium in the city for the 2010 World Cup.

Mayor Helen Zille, from the opposition Democratic Alliance, agreed to the project on condition the national government pay most of the $420m cost.

Ms Zille has said the money could be better spent on helping poor citizens.

The South African government, Fifa and sponsors want to take advantage of a scenic site between mountain and sea.

"We can not end up with a situation like in Montreal when the grandchildren of the people who made the decisions for the 1976 Olympics are still paying the bill," Ms Zille said on Thursday as she announced the project would go ahead.

Construction of the 68,000 seat stadium is due to begin in January.

Ms Zille said Cape Town would bid to host the opening ceremony and one of the semi-finals to help justify the cost of the new stadium.

Fifa and sponsors are reported to have put pressure on the 2010 organisers to build a stadium suitable for the opening ceremony in the spectacular location in the Cape Town suburb of Green Point.

The site, currently a golf course, is close to the city centre and harbour with Table Mountain as a backdrop.

Credit: BBC Sports