South Africa is set to test their World Cup readiness next month in the Cape Town International Challenge.

The whole world will tune in to see how Newlands Stadium and the Cape Town Stadium, which will host eight matches at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, will cope with the youth tournament.

The four-nation tourney will see defending World Youth Champions Ghana, Brazil, the team they defeated in 2009 to lift the trophy in Egypt, Nigeria and hosts South Africa from 7-20 April.

The combined capacity of both stadiums is over 106,000 which will help simulate the demands of the World Cup in June.

Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson said: "This is another step in the evolution towards the World Cup. We have already had two test events-the soccer match (between Ajax and Santos) which hosted 20,000, a rugby match (between Western Province and Boland), which had 40,000 spectators.

"There will be a Christian prayer event on the 22nd March and the Cape Town International Challenge will be the fourth event and will host 65,000 people.

"This event will stretch us to the limit; it will ensure we are tested with a full stadium. Many of the eight World Cup games will be at night (as will the matches at the International Challenge), so it will provide us with an indicator of how we can cope with a full stadium at night time.”

Director of Sports and Recreation, Gert Bam said: "We have worked closely with SAFA Cape Town to get this event going. The City has deemed it fit as our final test because of the significance of the event and the competitors.

"We have made it affordable for people throughout the city to attend. It's going to be a wonderful experience and the people of Cape Town are in for a treat.

“SAFA Cape Town will be working closely with the 24 Local Football Associations to try and tap into the 100,000 amateur players in the region to ensure capacity crowds.”

Posted on 16/03/2010