South African high-speed rail link will not be ready for start of football World Cup

A major project for next year’s World Cup in South Africa will not be ready, it has been revealed.

A high-speed rail link will not be operational until at least two weeks into the tournament, a spokesperson for the project told the BBC.

Organisers of the 2010 event had hoped fans would be able to board the high-speed train from Johannesburg airport.

But now most fans’ initial experience will be in a taxi or shuttle bus in a traffic jam, the BBC said.

Builders have been working on the £2bn Gautrain project over the past three years, linking Johannesburg, Pretoria and the airport.

But under pressure to finish before next June, contractors demanded an additional £107m to accelerate their work. The South African government refused.

In its assessment of South Africa’s readiness for the 2010 World Cup, Fifa said it had identified a lack of transport and infrastructure as well as a shortage of accommodation as likely problems.