It has been a long and winding road to the 2010 World Cup, with the
idea first discussed in 1994. Since 1930 the World Cup had see-sawed
between Europe and South America, but in 1994 FIFA changed the
staging of the World Cup and voted for the US to host the world's
most prestigious event. Preparations began in earnest in 1996 to bid
for the tournament a decade later, but South Africa lost out to
Germany. Bitterly disappointed, the South Afri-can Organizing
Committee, sought consolation from Nelson Mandela who promptly told
them "to go and fight back", which is precisely what they did, and
the rest is history.
The 32 teams have qualified; the Final Draw, determining groups and
match orders, took place on 4 December 2009 and it also became known
in which cities the teams will be playing in their group matches
(each team plays 3 matches in 3 different stadiums to qualify for
the next round of 16); the teams have all chosen their base camps
for their group matches and the time has now arrived for the
greatest event on earth.
World Cup matches will be played in 9 South African ci-ties at 10
different stadiums, which are ready and amongst the best in the
Cape Town (Green Point Stadium - host stadium for Semi-Final on 6
Durban (Moses Mabhida Stadium - host stadium for Semi-Final on 7
Johannesburg (Ellis Park Stadium) (Soccer City Stadium- host stadium
for Opening and Final Matches respectively on 11 June and 11 July)
Mangaung/Bloemfontein (Free State Stadium)
Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium)
Nelspruit (Mbomela Stadium)
Polowkane (Peter Mokaba Stadium)
Rustenburg (Royal Bafokeng Stadium)
Tshwane/Pretoria (Loftus Versfeld Stadium)
The FIFA Confederations Cup in June 2009, played in 4 of the host
cities, proved to be a tremendous success, but at the same time it
was also a very important "practise run" for the World Cup from
which many lessons were learned.
Ticketing for the World Cup games has taken place in phases. Anyone
interested can visit www.fifa.com for tickets. Several Tour
Oper-ators are organizing package tours for the World Cup, which
includes tickets to games.
Fan Parks will be set up in all 9 South African host cities,
allowing millions of people who do not have tickets for attending
matches, to view the World Cup broadcast on giant screens. This idea
was first launched by FIFA in 2006 in Germany, under the name of FAN
FESTS. Besides the local Fan Fests, there will also be Fan Fests in
7 international cities: Berlin, London, Mexico City, Paris, Rio de
Janeiro, Rome and Sydney.
A wide range of Hotels, Bed and Breakfasts (B&Bs), Guest Houses,
Game Lodges and Apartments in all categories is available for the
visitor intending to go to South Africa in 2010. Official
accommodation can be booked on line through 2010 FIFA World Cup
Accommodation Office operated by MATCH Event Services (Pty) Ltd on
www.fifa.com, or by searching the internet for non-official
accommodation (establishments who have not signed up with MATCH) or
through any reliable travel agent.
In a similar to Athens 2004 Olympic Games style, large cruise ships
are to be docked in South African harbours to be used for
accommodation, particularly for the increased needs of the quarter,
semi and final games, with some of them offering a truly five star
Distances between host cities can easily be viewed on www.fifa.com,
which indicates the travelling time by road
as well as by air.
The Official Mascot is "ZAKUMI", an adorable Leopard, whose name
derives from "ZA" standing for "South Africa" and "KUMI", which
translates into "10" in various languages across Africa.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa will introduce the world to
the "Vuvuzela" and "Makarapa". The Vuvuzela is a plastic trumpet and
blown by fans at soccer matches in South Africa, bringing a lively
atmosphere to the stadium. Vuvuzelas come in all colours and are
even beautified with thousands of coloured beads.
The Makarapa is a soccer helmet (such as the hard hats worn by the
mine workers in South Africa) and decorated with the most
unbelievable icons imaginable! (Visit
vuvuzela.com and makarapa.co.za just to get an idea of what is in
store for the World Cup!) This could very well be the noisiest World