FIFA chief medical officer Jiri Dvorak says the medical center will leave a legacy for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. (Getty Images)

FIFA-Approved Sports Medicine Center Opens

The first FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence in Africa opened Monday at Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa.

“The body of knowledge in football medicine accumulated by FIFA needs to be practically implemented so that African
players can fully benefit from prevention, treatment and rehabilitation,” said Professor Jiri Dvorak, FIFA chief medical officer.

“It will create a legacy far beyond this event by educating the next generation of African clinical specialists committed to football medicine.”

Insurers Concerned about 2010

FIFA has set aside a nearly $625 million contingency fund for the 2010 World Cup because insurers are wary of backing South Africa. German insurance company Munich Re assessors are concerned about construction progress, security, transport infrastructure and the local political climate, according to UK media.

“The situation is quite difficult and fluid. The problem is they need 10 stadiums and some of these are rugby grounds that are run-down and in a very bad condition,” a Munich Re spokesman told The Guardian.

Insurers worry that South Africa will not be able to deliver venues for the World Cup on time. (Getty Images)



South African Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka says she is confident the new Nelson Mandela Stadium in Port Elizabeth will be ready for the 2009 Confederations Cup. However, construction delays and increases in cost have led some African media to question the ability of organizers to get the stadium prepared. It may not be ready until May 2009, according > to media reports.

At the end of March, a judge in Grahamstown High Court instructed contractors to complete works on the stadium under a revised plan within 60 days. The ruling came after municipal manager John Richards filed an urgent court application to force Grinaker-LTA, the stadium contractor, to move ahead with revised plans. The stadium must meet FIFA specifications by April 29 or be barred from Confederations Cup hosting duties.

SABC, the 2010 World Cup domestic broadcasting partner , 09 Confederations Cup and the World Cup free. “It is extremely important for us that the first FIFA World Cup in Africa touches as broad an audience as possible, not only those inside the World Cup stadiums, in the most meaningful way,” said Jerome Valke, General Secretary of FIFA.

Hernando Siles stadium in La Paz, Bolivia, can no longer be used for World Cup and Olympic qualifying football matches because it is about 12,000 feet above sea level. (Getty Images)

will air the 20 FIFA suspended Chad from all international competitions on March 28 because the national government dissolved the football federation. The move endangers Chad’s chances of making the 2010 World Cup.

Bolivia will appeal FIFA’s altitude ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. On March 14, FIFA passed a regulation requiring two weeks acclimatization before a match can be played at a stadium above 9,000 feet. The measure makes it impossible for Bolivia and several other South American countries to host Olympic qualifications.

A joint initiative between the FIFA ticket provider and two South African tourism agencies will campaign to have 10,000 non-hotel rooms become accredited accommodation for the 2010 World Cup. Currently, less than half of the target 10,000 rooms are registered with less than three years remaining.

Prosecutors in Swiss courts dropped lesser charges against former FIFA marketing partner ISL/ISMM to focus on a conviction for fraud, embezzlement, and fraudulent bankruptcy. ILF/ISMM allegedly withheld broadcasting revenue from Brazil and Japan for 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.

Written by Eric Connelly

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