The 2010 football World Cup in South Africa will take place between 11 June and 11 July, the international football authorities have said. The International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) has also decided to retain the qualifying format from the 2006 event in Germany to ensure that the host nation has a place among the 36 competing teams. Under the same rules five other African countries will also take part in the tournament, which is being held in Africa for the first time.
Meanwhile a question mark hangs over Cape Town's status as a host city for the competition amid controversy over proposals to build a new 68,000-seat stadium at Green Point. Local residents have already appealed against planning permission for the facility, whose construction would involve the destruction of an existing golf course and other social amenities, and they are threatening court action should their appeal fall through. This could delay the start of work indefinitely with the result that the structure might not be ready in time. Consequently sports minister Makhenkesi Stofile has said he will ask cabinet to strip the city of its host status if the residents do not back down.