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Learning English - Words in the News
24 November, 2008 - Published 12:48 GMT
South Africa World Cup delays
South Africa 2010 World Cup logo

FIFA's Secretary General Jerome Valcke has expressed serious doubts as to whether South Africa will complete its preparations for the World Cup in 2010. With 18 months to go, he warns the organisers there 'isn't a day to lose'. From Johannesburg Alex Capstick reports:

Listen to the story

It's unusual for FIFA to make such a strong statement. Football's world governing body has been fully behind South Africa's preparations.

But it now seems inevitable that some projects will not meet their deadlines. Most of the concerns surround South Africa's commitment to overhaul its transport system and improve security. Jerome Valcke, who is the second in command to the president Sepp Blatter at FIFA, said there's simply no time for further delays.

The local organisers remain convinced that they will deliver on their promises and, despite the warning from FIFA, the possibility of moving the tournament to another country is not an option.

Alex Capstick, BBC News, Johannesburg

Listen to the words

been fully behind
completely supported

if something (usually unpleasant) is inevitable, it is impossible to avoid it or prevent it from happening

meet their deadlines
be completed on time

here, are about

a promise and/or a firm decision to do something

here, significantly improve

the second in command
the second most powerful

deliver on
here, fulfil

a competition where a number of games are played, and the winners of each of those games then play against each other

an option
a possibility, a possible choice

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