Six new stadiums part of Egyptian 2010 bid

Egypt has announced the nine stadiums that will host the 2010 World Cup should it win the right to stage the event.

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By  Eudore Chand Published  January 13, 2004

Egypt has announced the nine stadiums that will host the 2010 World Cup should it win the right to stage the event. The country is already investing in upgrading or constructing the stadia, as part of a US $1.525 billion plan to prepare for hosting the 2010 tournment. Four African nations are competiting against Egypt to host the 2010 World Cup, including South Africa, Tunisia, Libya and Morocoo. However, it is South Africa, which narrowly lost out to Germany for the 2006 tournament, that is the favourite to be selected. A FIFA delegation has already visited three of the bidding countries and it will be in Egypt to assess the Egyptian bid in the last week of this month. The condition of the nine stadiums will play a critical part in the football governing body’s decision, but Egypt is planning to go ahead with the construction work whether or not it is named as the 2010 host, as the stadium will also be used for the 2006 African Nations Cup. “We are committed to upgrading and completing the construction of these stadiums regardless of whether or not we win the bid,” said the Egyptian Youth & Sports Minister, Alieddin Hilal. “This is about doing something for the country and our people, bettering the stadiums, not impressing a delegation.” Of the nine stadiums that form the Egptian bid, four are new venues that have not yet been constructed. Indeed, work has yet to start on three of the stadia: the 65 000 seater Mubarak Stadium in 6th of October City, Port Said Stadium, which will hold 45 000 fans, and the Ismailia Military Stadium, which will also have a capacity of 45 000. Work has begun on the fourth new arena though, the 80 000 capacity Borg Al-Arab Stadium in Alexandria, and the project is scheduled to finish in 2006. Alongside the new stadiums, the Egyptian bid also encompases five existing venues, all of which require renovation work. These include the 72 000 capacity Cairo International Stadium, the 45 000 capacity Military Academy Stadium, and the 45 000-seater Arab Contractors Stadium, which are all in Cairo. The other two venues are The Suez Canal Authority Stadium in Ismailia, which holds 45 000, and The Suez Stadium in Suez, which also has a capaity of 45 000. Apart from the nine stadium in the formal bid, the Egyptians will also nominate up to six optional stadiums, which may or may not host games. The three that have been named so far are smaller than the nine main stadiums, but are still significant sized construction projects. Two of the three — the 30 000-seater Damanhour Stadium and the 35 000 capacity Bani Edid Stadium — are both new projects, and work has already begun on both of them. The third optional venue, Aswan Stadium, which holds 20 000, is to undergo rennovation work. Hilal is confident that Egypt’s investment in footballing infrastructure will pay off, and he emphasised the cornerstones of the Egyptian bid; its football history, its safe and strategic location, and the depth of both its culture and history. “And, of course, the Egyptian passion for the game cannot be compared to any other nation,” the bid committee added. “Football is in our blood.”

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