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World Cup fever sweeps SA

By Alistair Thomson

Spontaneous jubilation erupted in South Africa's townships on Saturday and motorists honked with joy in major cities as their country won the right to stage the soccer World Cup in 2010.

The game's ruling body Fifa chose South Africa ahead of Morocco and Egypt to stage the world's most popular single sports event for the first time on the African continent.

 


In a packed open air concert venue in Soweto outside Johannesburg, hundreds of fans jumped in the air screaming and hugging strangers while others rushed towards the big screen carrying the announcement live from Zurich.

The crowd at the open air concert venue steadily grew as revellers streamed in under a cloudless autumn sky. Rock music blasted out while people danced in front of the stage.

A grinning Elias Tulani, 41, carrying a bottle of brandy in one hand and his nephew in the other, said: "It's the best in life... we've got everything here in Africa. It's all here."

South African President Thabo Mbeki, sporting a baseball hat and sombre suit, threw his arms up in delight when he heard the announcement rebroadcast on a giant television screen outside the ornate Union Buildings in Pretoria, the seat of government.

"Let's all go out and celebrate," he declared, raising a glass of champagne to a huge cheer from a large crowd gathered around him.

It was pandemonium at Cape Town's Good Hope Centre sports stadium where up to 3 000 screaming and shouting people hugged each other, some crying with emotion.

"We are going to party now, we are going to the shebeens (local bars). My whole family is going to celebrate," said Erefaan Agamoedien, a 36-year-old taxi driver.

"This has been a struggle that has taken seven years," Mbeki told the SABC.

"We have been very united about this thing," Mbeki added, referring to solid support for the bid from all races in South Africa's "rainbow nation" of 45 million people.

"Everyone has said to me: 'President bring home the cup'," said Mbeki, who flew home on Friday after presenting South Africa's bid at the head of a star-studded delegation that included anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela and fellow Nobel Peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Mbeki said South Africans must remain united and ensure they give the 32 teams and millions of fans that will converge on the country in six years time "an excellent welcome".

"I am quite certain that in 2010 an African team will win the World Cup. Let's all go out and celebrate... Forward to 2010!," he said.

After the national gloom that followed almost four years ago when South Africa was lost out to Germany by a single vote in its bid to stage the 2006 World Cup, South Africans were guarded in their expectations in the run-up to Saturday's announcement.

Despite a Fifa technical report issued days before the verdict placing the country at the top of five bidding African nations, South Africans were not taking anything for granted.

But moments after Fifa President Sepp Blatter announced the winning bid, South Africans poured on to the streets, waving flags and dancing with joy.

The biggest parties were in townships like Soweto, where soccer has a near religious following among the black majority, for whom the world's most popular sport is a welcome diversion from problems ranging from crime and unemployment to Aids.

2010 FIFA World Cup™
Host cities announced for South Africa 2010

(FIFA.com) 17 Mar 2006

At FIFA's Executive Committee meeting on Friday 17 March 2006, the host cities and stadiums proposed by the South African Local Organising Committee were formally approved.

In total there will be 10 stadiums used in the nine host cities. Four new stadiums will be built -Cape Town (Greenpoint Stadium), Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium), Durban (King's Park Stadium) and Nelspruit (Mbombela Stadium)-, with the remaining six being upgraded -Rustenburg (Royal Bafokeng Stadium), Bloemfontein (Free State Stadium), Pretoria (Loftus Versfeld Stadium) Polokwane (Peter Mokaba Stadium) and Johannesburg (Soccer City and Ellis Park Stadiums).

Check out the new South Africa 2010 section now

Click here to find out all about the ten venues

In his State of the Nation address for the month of February, President Thabo Mbeki announced: "In return for the irreplaceable benefits of hosting a World Cup, we owe it to FIFA and the rest of the soccer world to prepare properly for 2010."

   
FIFA President Blatter
attends a news conference
following a FIFA Executive
Committe meeting in Zurich
(REUTERS) SEBASTIAN
DERUNGS

The momentum for this preparation started on Friday 17 March when FIFA's Executive Committee met at FIFA House in Zurich. One of the topics on the agenda was the decision on host cities and stadiums to be used at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. The Committee ratified the host cities and stadiums proposed by the South African Local Organising Committee.


Danny Jordaan at a
press conference at
Johannesburg Intern.
Airport, 12 January 2005.
(AFP)
Lefty SHIVAMBU
   

At the press conference held after the Executive meeting, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter said: "The FIFA Executive Committee have confirmed the nine cities and 10 stadiums available for the FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010. You can see that even though Germany 2006 has not started yet, 2010 is already in full operation!"

The CEO of the South African Local Organising Committee, Danny Jordaan, said: "The announcement of the host cities in South Africa is the first concrete step taken in the delivery of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The cities' co-operation and enthusiasm is unparalleled and signals the determination of the host cities to be wonderful hosts and deliver world class infrastructure with African sensation."

The early announcement is a positive move for the South African host cities as they can go to the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ and learn from their German counterparts. The cities will now start dealing with infrastructural challenges such as airport upgrades, building or upgrading their stadiums, and improving transportation networks to handle the football fans that will flock into South Africa.

South Africa won the right to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ after narrowly missing out to Germany for the 2006 FIFA World Cup™. South Africa have hosted the IRB Rugby World Cup, the ICC Cricket World Cup and the CAF Africa Cup of Nations but this will be the first time the beautiful game's showpiece event will be held on African soil.

SA chosen to host 2010 World Cup

By Mike Collett

Zurich - South Africa have won the right to host the 2010 soccer World Cup - the first to be held on the African continent.

FIFA's executive committee chose South Africa, the slight favourites, on the first round of voting. The other candidates to host the 32-team finals were Morocco and Egypt.

Libya's bid was stood down by FIFA on Saturday because it did not meet the criteria and Tunisia pulled out on Friday after being refused the option of co-hosting the event with Libya.

The World Cup is the biggest sporting event outside the Summer Olympics and soccer the world's most popular sport.

Almost four years ago Germany controversially won the race to host the 2006 finals by a single vote after Oceania delegate Charles Dempsey defied orders to vote for South Africa.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter made it clear then that he wanted Africa to get the World Cup at the next opportunity as world soccer's governing body decided to rotate the finals around the continents.

South Africa hosted the 1995 Rugby World Cup and the 2003 Cricket World Cup successfully but the soccer World Cup, which began in 1930, has never been held on the continent.

Former president Nelson Mandela said last week that hosting the 2010 World Cup finals would be a perfect gift for the country as it celebrates 10 years of democracy.

He said it would add three billion rand to the economy and create more than 150 000 jobs in a country where unemployment is over 30 percent and poverty is rife.

South Africa sent a high-profile mission to Switzerland, led by Mandela, President Thabo Mbeki and Nobel Peace prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and was the slight favourite.

Hopes Boosted

The country's hopes of success were boosted at the start of the month after FIFA inspectors rated its facilities as the best of five competing countries.

South Africa's bid was described as "excellent", while those of north African rivals Egypt and Morocco were "very good".

Morocco suffered a major blow by having questions raised about the country's lack of infrastructure.

Libya, whose hopes of co-hosting the finals with Tunisia had been repeatedly slapped down by Blatter, were taken out of the running by FIFA on Saturday before voting even began.

FIFA's technical evaluation report said Africa was prepared to host the finals but would need support in stadium plans, pitch quality, ticketing, budgeting and general planning.

The inspectors said South Africa had excellent overall infrastructure and a clear and stable bid project.

"Despite questions about security in the country, the legacy compared to the investment needed will be a great contribution to the country," the inspectors reported.

The World Cup finals, held in Asia for the first time when South Korea and Japan co-hosted the 2002 tournament, will be awarded to South America in 2014 with Brazil expected to land the finals when it celebrates its federation's centenary.

Profile of SA's bid to host 2010 World Cup

Zurich, Switzerland - Profile of South Africa's succesful offer for the 2010 World Cup.

Population: 44 million inhabitants.

Infrastructure: Thirteen stadiums, in 11 cities, including: FNB Stadium (Johannesburg, 80 000 capacity), Ellis Park (Johannesburg, 68 000), Johannesburg Stadium (Johannesburg, 40 000), Newlands Stadium (Cape Town, 45 000), Absa Stadium (Durban, 52 000), Telkom Park (Port Elizabeth, 40 000), Absa Stadium (Bloemfontein, 38 000), Loftus Stadium (Pretoria, 45 000).

Five venues are due to be built and five to be renovated to bring them up to international standards. The definite number still has to be fixed.

Transport, telecommunications, hotels and medical facilities were rated as very good to excellent by FIFA's inspection team.

Budget: Predicted total revenue: $541.1 million.

Total expenditure: $476 million, with an additional 112 million invested in venues.

FIFA's inspection report said South Africa's provisional budgeting was insufficient and needed to be revised. The inspection team said the predicted $467 million in revenue from ticket sales - the highest of any of the five bids - would be "very difficult to reach".

Spurred on by "huge enthusiasm" in the country, FIFA inspectors concluded South Africa could stage "excellent" finals.

But they also questioned security with the country's crime rate, one of the highest in the world.

South Africa made their comeback to international football in 1992 with the end of apartheid, after they were thrown out by FIFA in 1976 under sanctions.

They controversially lost the race to Germany to host the 2006 World Cup by a single vote after one FIFA delegate abstained.

South Africa hosted the 2003 Cricket World Cup and the successful 1995 Rugby Union World Cup.

Of the five candidates, it was the only one from sub-Saharan Africa. - Sapa-AFP

Sundaytimes - more details stadiums etc.

   

 

 

 

 

 

More stadiums, and better

Buddy Naidu

A country, according to Fifa regulations, requires just eight stadiums with a minimum seating capacity of 40 000 to successfully stage a World Cup.

But come 2010, South Africa will boast 13 state-of-the-art venues.

Soccer City in Johannesburg - the preferred venue for the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the final game - will boast a seating capacity of 94 700 after upgrading to the tune of R212-million is complete.

Soccer City also has strong historical links to the beautiful game. In 1987 it became the first stadium built solely for football.

More than R1.5-billion has been earmarked for the building of new stadiums and the upgrade of existing infrastructure.

Costs for this exercise will be met by the government, the South African Football Association, the private sector, municipalities and provincial governments.

Stadiums will feature new video scoreboards, floodlights and surveillance equipment as well as additional turnstiles to ensure easier access.

SOCCER CITY, Johannesburg

The showpiece stadium of South African soccer was built in 1987 specifically as a football venue. It will play host to both the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the final.

About R212-million will be spent upgrading the venue, which will see 94 700 spectators fit in comfortably when all is said and done.

It will boast seven levels with more than 100 turnstiles. An embankment level on the western side will be extended while a roof will be constructed to cover all seats on the upper tier - resulting in 30 910 fans being seated under cover.

Work is set to finish in April 2007.

ELLIS PARK STADIUM, Johannesburg

The scene of one of the country's worst tragedies and best sporting triumphs, the stadium will increase its seating capacity by 10 149, resulting in a capacity of 60 000.

Otherwise, minimal work - estimated to cost R38-million - is expected to be conducted at one of our most modern stadiums. Two new tiers will be constructed behind each of the goalposts while turnstiles will also increase to 70 to allow easier access.

The stadium, in which our national rugby team clinched the 1995 World Cup, is expected to host a semifinal.

ABSA STADIUM, Durban

Another of the crown jewels in South Africa's impressive array of stadiums, Absa Stadium is a semifinal venue.

The north and south stands behind each goalpost will feature new tiers to increase seating capacity to 60 000.

NEWLANDS STADIUM, Cape Town

South Africa's most aesthetically appealing stadium - set against the backdrop of Table Mountain - is another that will require minimal upgrade.

Its capacity is set to increase to 40 000.

Work is expected to be completed in November 2007 at a cost of R16-million.

FREE STATE STADIUM, Bloemfontein

Having undergone an upgrade ahead of the 1995 Rugby World Cup, a further R41-million will be spent to improve seating capacity to 40 000. A new roof will then be built to cover the existing western grandstand.

KIMBERLEY STADIUM, Northern Cape (NEW)

The old and dilapidated De Beers Stadium, built in the 1920s, will be demolished to make way for the Kimberley Stadium, with a capacity of 40 000.

The multi-sports, entertainment and exhibition centre complex, to be completed by May 2007, will stand next to the Kimberley Showgrounds.

MBOMBELA STADIUM, Nelspruit (NEW)

One of the new stadiums (capacity 40 000) to be developed, Mbombela will be built eight kilometres from central Nelspruit, the capital of Mpumalanga, and near the Kruger National Park.

OPPENHEIMER STADIUM, Orkney, North West

Owned by the famous mining group, Anglogold , it needs to be upgraded.

It currently has a capacity of 23 000.

An athletics track will be sacrificed to build additional seats while embankments around the stadium will also be enlarged by concrete structures to increase capacity to 40 000.

PETER MOKABA STADIUM, Polokwane, Limpopo

The tiny stadium with a capacity of 15 000 will be upgraded to hold 40 000. Named after the former leader of the ANC Youth League, work on the stadium will be completed by April 2007. It is in relatively good condition and has also played host to numerous international football matches and athletics meetings.

A roof covering the entire stadium will replace the current one that covers just the main western stand. Earth embankments will also be built to accommodate a further 20 rows of seats.

PORT ELIZABETH STADIUM, Eastern Cape (NEW)

This hi-tech R200-million stadium, touted as "futuristic" in design and concept, will serve as a multi-sports complex that will act as the headquarters of sport in one of the country's poorest provinces.

The idea for a new stadium came about after it was found that Port Elizabeth's rugby stadium was unsuitable for upgrading.

It will be built near the industrial port development at Coega and will boast a capacity of 49 500. Work will be completed by June 2007. It will also serve as the home of soccer club Park United.

The project will be funded by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.

SECURICOR LOFTUS, Pretoria

Minimal upgrading will be required for one of the country's best known stadiums, which serves as the home of the Blue Bulls rugby team as well as Mamelodi Sundowns football club.

The stadium is situated just two kilometres from the city centre. A cost of R16-million is envisaged to upgrade facilities.

RAINBOW JUNCTION, Pretoria (NEW)

The stadium is the only one of the new projects that will be developed by the private sector.

The site has already been identified, with the stadium to be built on agricultural land bordered by residential and light industrial areas eight kilometres from central Pretoria.

The main feature of the futuristic-looking venue will be a leaf-shaped canopy that covers the main stand. The stadium will also feature state-of-the-art masts and a floodlight system in line with its roof structure.

With a seating capacity of 41 000, it will become the home of PSL team Supersport United.

ROYAL BAFOKENG SPORTS PALACE, Rustenburg, North West

Owned by the Bafokeng community, the stadium first opened its doors in 1999.

It is situated in the heart of the richest platinum mining area in the world and last year was home to PSL giants Orlando Pirates.

A fully functional sporting complex, it also features international standard athletics, tennis and swimming facilities.

No major upgrading is expected, although the capacity is set to increase to 40 000 with the construction of two additional rows of seats in the concourse on the second level.

The cost will be around R12-million and work will be completed by November 2005.

Economic Cup will overflow

Soccer event will create jobs and fast-track some of the country's biggest projects

Rowan Philp and Andrew Donaldson

South Africa will score a direct windfall from the World Cup of over R21-billion - but that is likely to be dwarfed by tourism and investment spin-offs.

Excited business leaders in South Africa and in Zurich said hosting the tournament would mean jobs and the ultimate symbol of identity for citizens.

Developers said the bid victory would ensure that some of the country's most ambitious projects - including the R7-billion Gautrain, Coega's giant "signature bridge", the Statue of Freedom in Port Elizabeth and Durban's new international airport at La Mercy - would be fast-tracked into reality by 2010.

A report by accountants Grant Thornton Kessel Feinstein this week revealed that the event would generate direct income of R21.4-billion, including R12.7-billion spent by spectators.

Speaking from the plush corridors of the Dolder Grand Hotel in Zurich, Maria Ramos, Transnet CEO and former Finance Department head, declared: "This will galvanise South Africans; it will put us firmly on the tourism map. And with that will come jobs, jobs, jobs - and that's exactly what South Africa needs. I was deeply disappointed last time [when South Africa lost the 2006 bid] but now we are more than ready and able to do this."

Dr Ali Bacher, executive director of the 2003 Cricket World Cup, said he believed the figure of R21.4-billion was "very conservative".

"We had 18 500 visitors and around R1-billion was brought into the country," said Bacher. "Something like 400 000 visitors are expected for the Soccer World Cup, so you can just imagine how much greater the benefits should be. Aside from that, the [long- term] benefits for tourism are enormous: 1.5 billion people watched the Cricket World Cup on television, it will be closer to three billion for this event."

 

Referring to the 159 000 new jobs predicted by the Kessel Feinstein report, Ponga Liwewe, a sponsorship manager with South African Breweries, said: "It will be a massive boost for SA in economic terms but it will also be a reflection of what the future South Africa will look like."

Gillian Saunders, head of hospitality for Kessel Feinstein, said millions more would follow in long-term tourism and investment benefits.

Saunders said neighbouring states including Botswana would likely see a net loss in revenues, with their citizens travelling to South Africa likely to out-spend those tourists who would include neighbouring countries in their World Cup itineraries.

However, she said the "entire region" would enjoy long-term tourism benefits. "Aside from the hospitality and transport sectors, retail shops will do well - and the bars will do well," said Saunders. "You'll see stalls and merchandising along the roads."

Saunders also revealed that although the average ticket would cost R826 in 2010, the cheapest tickets would cost only R120, vs the cheapest tickets of R400 at the last World Cup in Korea and Japan.

Jack van der Merwe, project leader for the Gautrain Rapid Rail Link - which will see high-speed trains linking Johannesburg with Pretoria, Sandton and the international airport - said winning the Cup would both help to cut time delays and place "extra pressure on delivery".

"I foresee that some processes that may have taken nine months will now take six - but we will definitely open in 2009," he said.

Kenny McDonald, founder of the Statue of Freedom Project - which centres around a 110m statue of former President Nelson Mandela at Port Elizabeth's harbour mouth - said: "The bureaucratic red tape we've experienced has snowballed. The bid will confirm the timelines and fast-track the second and third phases so that we'll see the statue, the conference centre, the Museum of Freedom; the Children's Museum and the cruise- liner terminal all complete by 2009."

Mike Mabuyakhulu, KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Finance, indicated that the bid victory would give impetus to plans for the R2-billion King Shaka International Airport at La Mercy.

Jacques du Toit, group economist for Absa, said benefits would already start to be seen this week, thanks to a likely "immediate support for the rand, with markets anticipating a flood of investment into South Africa".

"In just about every way, winning the bid poses huge long-term benefits to a country sorely in need of more investment."

South African Tourism chief executive Cheryl Carolus, described the bid victory as "absolutely sensational".

SA take a further step from pariah past

By Mark Gleeson

Zurich - South Africa's victory in the race to host the 2010 World Cup on Saturday represents another huge step away from its former role as a pariah of world sport.

The country joins an elite group who have hosted the biggest single sporting event in the world outside the Summer Olympics - a feat that would have been unimaginable just a decade ago.

Apartheid policies led to South Africa's sports teams being banned from international football and the Olympic Games because they were segregated on racial lines.

The country was suspended by world soccer's governing body at its congress in Tokyo in 1964 and finally expelled at FIFA's Montreal congress in 1976.

South Africa was unable to compete internationally and its footballers had little exposure to the world game.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who joined FIFA in 1975, said he remembered the 1976 congress and was particularly pleased that South Africa's multi-racial society would now host the World Cup finals almost 30 years later.

"For me, personally, a country with a multi-racial society after apartheid is a very good country to organise the World Cup."

The society that will greet the 32 World Cup finalists in 2010 will be very different from the one that spawned Africa's first professional, but whites-only, soccer league in 1958.

Black footballers played for separate clubs and in separate competitions and were often banned from using municipal facilities.

Occasional challenge games between leading black and white clubs had to be played in neighbouring countries like Lesotho and Swaziland.

Almost two decades later, soccer became the first team sport to break down racial barriers, more than a decade before the end of institutionalised apartheid.

First, representative teams from the country's four separate racial groups - blacks, coloureds (mixed-race), Indians and whites - played each other in a government-sanctioned tournament but crowds were still segregated along racial lines.

Financial Hardships

It was only when white clubs started to suffer financial hardship with a decline in attendances that the two racially-divided leagues amalgamated in 1977 into a single entity that continues to this day.

Then South African soccer's leadership, a diverse group drawn from all racial groups, was an anomaly at a time of the Soweto riots and heavy-handed repression of the country's majority black population.

The release of Nelson Mandela from jail in February 1990 and the African National Congress' decision to ask for an end to the long-standing sports boycott of the country precipitated South Africa's return from almost three decades of isolation.

FIFA fast-tracked South Africa's return in 1992, two years before the country's first democratic elections.

South Africa were given a belated slot in the African qualifiers for the 1994 World Cup, after the withdrawal of Sao Tome e Principe, and played their first official international on July 7 1992 when they beat Cameroon 1-0 in Durban.

Initially, South Africa struggled to catch up to the developments in the modern game but turned the corner after winning the African Nations Cup in 1996 as hosts.

Bafana Bafana, as the national side are nicknamed, have since competed at two successive World Cup finals and qualified for all Nations Cups tournaments since 1996.

 

But the football association continues to be blighted by incompetence, emphasised just days before Saturday's vote when it was revealed that players had not received promised payments for competing at January's Nations Cup finals in Tunisia.

There are now more than 50 South African footballers playing for clubs in Europe and north America, drawn from all sectors of the country's multi-cultured communities.

SA was not Africa's choice

Zurich - All four African members of Fifa's executive committee voted for losers Morocco in the decision on the 2010 World Cup hosts, Fifa sources said.

South Africa won Saturday's vote by a clear majority of the 24-man committee of world soccer's governing body by 14-10 in the first round ballot, but the four Confederation of African Football (CAF) members cast their ballots for Morocco.

This included South African-born Ismail Bhamjee, who now hails from neighbouring Botswana.

The three other African members of the Fifa executive committee are CAF president Issa Hayatou from Cameroon, Mamadou Diakite of Mali and the Tunisian Slim Aloulou.

Morocco also received four votes from Europe and two from Asia, the sources said.

South Africa's 14 votes were drawn from Concacaf - the grouping of central, north American and Caribbean countries - South America and Oceania.

They also received half of the votes from Europe's eight members and two from Asia.

Given Botswana's geographical location Bhamjee was expected to vote for neighbouring South Africa despite having been snubbed by the country in the CAF elections earlier this year.

Bhamjee had initially been supported by South Africa in his bid to win the presidency of the African confederation at their congress in Tunisia in January.

But in the end he received just four votes in a humiliating defeat to incumbent Hayatou and afterwards accused South Africa of "stabbing me in the back".

Fifa do not officially release the breakdown of the voting by the 24 executive committee members.

How 2010 will boost SA's economy

By Mariam Isa

South Africa's economy will get a direct boost from hosting the 2010 Soccer World Cup, but the likely financial spin-off of its improved image abroad may have a much bigger impact, economists say.

The euphoria of landing the tournament is likely to result in share prices rising on Monday, given the immediate boost to sentiment of hosting the biggest sporting event outside the Olympics, while the volatile rand could also benefit.

But despite all the headway since democracy in 1994, the continent's biggest economy is still battling negative perceptions and receives only a trickle of foreign direct investment compared to other emerging market countries.

Hosting what is seen as the world's most popular single sporting event should help remove the reservations many foreign investors have about a country known more for its high crime rate than its developed infrastructure, analysts say.

It should also buoy South Africa's expanding tourism sector, which bucked a global slowdown with a 4,2 percent rise in foreign visitors last year as foreign visitors avoided regions hit by security concerns and the Sars virus.

 

"There will be a big direct injection for the economy," said Standard Bank economist Goolam Ballim

"But the indirect impact may be more meaningful for a sustainable economic lift in subsequent years...it will help change the perceptions that a large number of foreign investors hold of Africa and South Africa."

The World Cup would pump R21,3-billion into the economy, with direct spending estimated at R12,7-billion, research from tourism specialist Grant Thornton Kessel Feinstein shows.

This is fairly modest given that South Africa's GDP amounted to 1.22 trillion rand ($177-billion) last year.

But the study estimates the event will also generate 159 000 new jobs - a big benefit given the fact that at least one in three South Africans are unemployed.

It will also support the government's drive to create jobs by spending more on infrastructure, with local construction and supplier firms set to reap rich rewards.

Three million fans are expected to visit South Africa during the tournament, far more than the number of supporters who came for the Cricket World Cup in 2003 or Rugby World Cup in 1995.

The country would have more tourists arriving for the finals than it normally handles in a year since 1.8 million people visited South Africa from outside the continent in 2003.

But it is well prepared to cope - existing sports stadiums are set to be upgraded, rather than new ones built N and the influx of soccer visitors would happen in the winter season, not competing therefore with the normal busy time for tourism.

But analysts believe the biggest long-term benefit will come from intangibles like an enhanced international profile and an improved sense of pride and unity among local people because the world's most popular sport crosses the racial divide.

The event could also attract and sustain more foreign direct investment, which amounted to less than a billion dollars last year - a meagre trickle against global flows of $650-billion.

"Rather than a once-off investment surge, the soccer World Cup's major benefits will be found in a further change in long term perceptions regarding South Africa," Absa senior economist John Loos said in a research note.

Tourism set to score big time with 2010 bid

Following the "absolutely sensational" confirmation from Fifa headquarters in Zurich today that South Africa has been successful in its bid to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup, South African Tourism chief executive Cheryl Carolus said that the country's tourism industry would be ready and waiting to give a warm welcome to the thousands of fans who will flock to the country to the largest sporting event of its kind in the world.
"What better news could our industry have asked for to cement the successes we have achieved and are indeed celebrating during this historic year as we celebrate 10 Years of Freedom?"
"The future of our growing industry, and indeed our President's goals for Nepad, could not have had a better boost."
Tourism has been identified as one of the South Africa's top five leading growth industries for its ability to contribute towards the eradication of poverty, and closing the gap between rich and poor through the sharing of an expanding tourism cake.
The huge influx of international media and spectators that will be drawn to South Africa for the 2010 event - as well as those visiting and scouting out the country in the years running up to the World Cup itself - will add significant momentum in contributing to increased GDP growth and job creation, transformation and the alleviation of poverty.
An ebullient Carolus added: "That South Africa has now received the ultimate stamp of approval for its ability as a preferred world-class global destination to successfully host major events is no longer in question.
Fifa's decision is indisputable proof that South Africa's sun is shining ever brighter in the global context.
The country has shown without a shadow of a doubt that it has the ability and maturity - in possessing the sophisticated world-class infrastructure and technology and quality tourism products - to facilitate and exceed beyond expectations in hosting such an international gathering of diverse cultures pursuing one single passion."
Over the past few years, the country has fast gained an enviable reputation for hosting, without incident, a number of high profile international events that have attracted hundreds of thousands of people, from royalty and leading heads of state to business delegates and sports fans.
This reputation was substantially heightened by the hosting in Johannesburg of the World Summit on Sustainable Development - one of the largest UN events of its kind ever and arguably one of the most significant global gatherings of the 21st century.
This was followed by the 8th cricket world cup, the largest and longest-ever competition in the history of the event, held over a six-week period with matches played in centres countrywide.
The country, with its wealth of diverse cultural attractions, scenic beauty and wildlife, is now recognised as one of the world's fastest growing tourist destinations.
It has, she added, proved it can successfully benchmark itself against the very best in the world in offering a wealth of possibilities.
"As we proudly celebrate this momentous decision with our SADC (Southern African Development Community) neighbours, we are committed to delivering a world-class tourism and hospitality experience second to none to the thousands of people who will be attracted to our beautiful shores for the duration of the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
At the same time, however, we will work to ensure that the economic benefits derived from tourism are also spread throughout our region," Carolus concluded.

SA celebrates winning the 2010 bid

South Africans whooped with joy as the executive of the Federation of International Football Associations (Fifa) awarded the country the right to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

Following the "absolutely sensational" confirmation from Fifa headquarters in Zurich today that South Africa has been successful in its bid to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup, South African Tourism chief executive officer, Cheryl Carolus, says that the country's tourism industry will be ready and waiting to give a warm South African welcome to the thousands of fans who will flock to the country to the largest sporting event of its kind in the world.

"What better news could our industry have asked for to cement the successes we have achieved and are indeed celebrating during this historic year as we celebrate 10 Years of Freedom?, she added.
"You can't keep a good country down," said an ecstatic Chez Milani, general secretary of the Federation of Unions of SA. SA Chamber of Business chief executive James Lennox said the result was the outcome of a lot of really hard work, especially by Danny Jordaan's bid committee.

"Well done to everyone! Well done to other bidders as well. They (Fifa) had a range of good bids (to choose from). Now the work really begins," Lennox said.

"The bid has captured the imagination of the South African public and business as well. It will no doubt help establish a common South African identity. The economy will gain massively from this," Lennox added.

Landless People's Movement national organiser Mangaliso Kubheka said that as a former soccer player he was very happy with the decision.

He was, however, concerned that when 2010 rolled around, the authorities, in a bid to make the country more appealing could be tempted to clear up squatter camps and dump shack dwellers somewhere out of sight.

Economist Mike Schussler beamed at the result. "Wow! This certainly a boost for growth and employment."

He estimates the tournament will result in pre-World Cup construction worth R3 billion, and will earn the country between R13 and R24 billion over its 43 day duration and another R8 billion afterwards.

Schussler expects 120,000 new jobs of which roughly half will be sustainable.

I feel like a young man, says Mandela

 

Zurich, Switzerland - South Africa will host Africa's first World Cup in 2010.

Four years after the heartache of losing by one vote to Germany for 2006, the Rainbow Nation will stage soccer's most lucrative event in 2010.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter announced the result on Saturday at a packed and emotional news conference at the World Trade Centre in Zurich. The vote was all over in the first round with the South Africans getting 14 to 10 for Morocco.

"I feel like a young man of 15," said 85-year-old Nelson Mandela, the former president who championed the bid. "The beauty of this victory is that we were dealing with highly capable competitors."

Tunisia's decision to withdraw in the final day of campaigning reduced the field to four on Friday. The field dropped to three on Saturday when FIFA excluded Libya from the vote because it did not meet "all relevant conditions."

"We can all applaud Africa," Blatter said in making the announcement.

"The victor is football. The victor is Africa."

The South Africans missed out by a single vote to Germany in the chase for the 2006 World Cup four years ago, losing out 12-11 after one of the FIFA executive abstained.

"We've come this far not because of our efforts," said South African bid chief Irvin Khoza. "The efforts of others who supported us have brought us this far."

Then he turned to Mandela and gestured to Archibishop Desmond Tutu and former South African President FW de Klerk.

"Your collective wisdom and support was not lost on FIFA," he told them.

With Europe, South America and the rest of the soccer world not involved, it was Africa's stage. FIFA decided four years ago to rotate the World Cup among the confederations and Africa was first up.

Although Morocco had a strong case having been a losing candidate three times already, and Egypt was Africa's first World Cup team 70 years ago, South Africa was a longtime favorite to get the go ahead.

With Morocco making a late charge in terms of public opinion, the South Africans sent their political heavyweights to the vote.

Mandela joined current president Thabo Mbeki and predecessor De Klerk in Zurich along with Nobel Peace Prize winner Tutu. Mandela and Mbeki both addressed the executive committee and spoke of how South Africa had emerged from apartheid and embraced democracy to become a viable host for soccer's biggest event.

"It is 28 years since FIFA took its stand against racially divided football and helped to inspire the final story against apartheid," Mandela told the executive committee.

"While we were on Robben Island the only access to the FIFA World Cup was on radio. Football was the only joy to prisoners.

"As I stand before you as part of the South African delegation I can confirm that we are ready, determined, willing and capable as well as passionate about hosting the FIFA World Cup."

Four years ago South Africa also seemed ready to capture the bid for 2006.

Backed by Blatter, who had long campaigned for the World Cup to be staged in Africa, Danny Jordaan's team again appeared the favorite.

But a German bid spurred on by two-time title winner Franz Beckenbauer edged the South Africans 12-11 after one man on the FIFA executive committee, 78-year-old New Zealander Charles Dempsey, decided to abstain in the second round of voting. He had previously voted for England, which was knocked out, and had been expected to vote for the South Africans.

With nine stadiums already in place and four more to be refurbished, the South Africans had a flying start on their rivals. The nation has already staged two World Cups in rugby and cricket but convinced the executive it had the capability to stage a much bigger event - the 32-nation soccer World Cup. - Sapa-AP

World Cup vote a boost for Africa

By Andrew Gray

Dakar - Africans hailed Saturday's decision to hold the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa as a a gift to cement the death of apartheid and a victory for the entire continent that should boost its image around the world.

Although there was disappointment among losing candidates, their bid officials were quick to congratulate South Africa. They said the most important thing was that the main event in the world's most popular game was finally coming to Africa.

"It's not only South Africa that has gained. The whole of Africa has much to benefit (from) in terms of publicity," said a spokesman for African Union commission president Alpha Oumar Konare. "It will also help to change the image of Africa from that of conflict to peaceful activities such as sports."

 

Many Africans felt the continent, as the home to many of the world's poorest states and some of its most passionate football supporters, had more than earned the right to stage the finals.

"Boy oh boy, Africa has arrived and I am so happy," said Adekunle Ayewo, a soccer fan in Lagos, Nigeria.

"We need to come together to support South Africa so they can prove that Africa has come of age in terms of having the right resources, adequate facilities and the expected manpower required to host a big tournament."

Role Model

In Cameroon, another of the continent's soccer superpowers, fans said FIFA's decision was a just reward. Many in sub-Saharan Africa see South Africa as a role model due to its economic progress and social peace since the end of apartheid.

"This is a country of great achievements," said businessman Patrice Nde, celebrating with a beer in the capital Yaounde.

"Come 2010, FIFA will not regret having awarded the World Cup to them. I will open a special bank account into which I will save some money for (going to) the tournament."

Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak was among the government leaders to send a message of congratulations to president Thabo Mbeki and Morocco, South Africa's other main rivals for the 2010 finals, gave a gracious official reaction to the decision.

"We congratulate South Africa on this win which is a victory for the whole African continent," Communication Minister Nabil Benabdallah said.

But not everyone in Morocco was as magnanimous. Television commentators covering the announcement of the decision suggested Western big business had scuppered Morocco's bid.

"There are international firms with huge interests to preserve. When it comes to organising the World Cup, money intervenes again even at the FIFA level," one said.

In Senegal, the surprise African success of the last World Cup with a run to the quarterfinals, a top soccer official said South Africa was a good choice - even though Senegal's president had backed Morocco's bid.

"I think we should congratulate South Africa which has all the conditions to organise a good World Cup. Now we can also pray that Senegal will take part in this World Cup," said the country's football federation vice-president Momar Ndiaye.

It's Fantastic

Africans from the world of sport and entertainment were also delighted that South Africa had been awarded the finals.

"It's fantastic, a real vote of confidence in South Africa's growth over the past 10 years of democracy. I am extremely delighted," said Mozambique's Maria Mutola, the world 800 metres champion who has dominated the distance in the last 10 years.

 

Senegalese musician Ishmael Lo said the World Cup had to be awarded to South Africa to mark the end of apartheid.

"...they needed something massive to show that apartheid is dead and buried forever and in my view the World Cup is such a thing," he told Reuters on board a plane headed for Maputo, on the start of an African performing tour.

"I know our president (Abdoulaye Wade) pitched for Morocco, but in my opinion, South Africa was always way ahead and it will be a glorious event for the whole of Africa," he said.

Soccer officials noted the financial benefits hosting the 2010 tournament would bring for the whole of Africa.

Fisho Mwale, deputy president of the Football Association of Zambia, told Reuters at Johannesburg International Airport:

"The benefits of a South African World Cup will be huge for the neghbours. Not all those thousands of fans will spend all their money in South Africa. Tourist dollars will trickle to countries like ours and that's great".

"For the development of the game, I envisage many of the teams coming to southern Africa to acclamatise and train and that will be good for soccer development in the region. All of us are winners and I am headed for my champagne glass."

Want a winning poker hand? How about three Nobel Peace Prize winners? All in the same room.

The South African delegation had serious clout, any way you looked at it. Former presidents Nelson Mandela - magic, man, just magic -- and F W de Klerk, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu - blessed with a direct access, as President Thabo Mbeki suggested at a banquet here on Friday evening, to the great Ref upstairs.

And Fifa president Joseph Sepp Blatter was the first to acknowledge this. At yesterday's announcement he said that the Fifa executive had certainly been impressed by this.

By then, South Africans the world over had taken to the streets in celebration.

But in Zurich, the party had been under way since Friday afternoon.

The South African delegation had camped out at the Dolder Grande Hotel, an imperious and uptight slab of swank that sits on the top of a pile overlooking this Swiss city, and began celebrating soon after arriving back there from Fifa House where they made their presentation.

The politicians and businessmen among them were a bit guarded in response to queries from the press when they returned. Here, by way of example, is a snatched interview with Correctional Services (and until recently Sports) Minister Ngconde Balfour on Friday:

How do you feel right now?

"I feel emotional. Very emotional."

Are you confident?

"I can't be. I won't be until that white envelope is opened and Mr Blatter announces that the World Cup is coming to South Africa. I am not going to sleep easy tonight."

And what does it mean if it comes to SA?

"Hope. It will be a legacy for the continent, for South Africa, and future generations will build on it."

And if we don't get it?

"I am the eternal optimist. I live my life with hope for the good things."

But yesterday Balfour could hardly speak he was so happy. He had a grin as wide as his girth.

"It's been a long, long road. But we're there," was all he could manage before he was whisked away, along with other delegates, back to the Dolder Grande.

There was almost something prescient about the way the party started on Friday, with SA soccer's representatives in the delegation firmly nailing their victory colours to the mast. It was a mighty victory for the country - the successful presentation of the bid presentation! Twenty ten and here we come.

Someone broke out a batch of white plastic trumpets, the ubiquitous vuvuzela, and that was that. Within minutes it was if a herd of elephants -- loud angry elephants -- was charging about the foyer of this hotel. Old Europe was transformed into a taxi rank outside FNB Stadium on match day in a matter of minutes.

Those trumpets were put to good use at the World Trade Centre, where delegates gathered to watch the announcement -- to drown out the drums of the Moroccan delegation. Those elephants? They were now on a rampage, it sounded like, and they wanted to do some serious damage to the couscous camp.

But back at the hotel the night before, one South African gushed, "I feel confident, oh man, I feel confident. The body language. You should have seen the body language at that place. We're going to make it. This time we're going to make it."

And who was this man, so cocksure in his shiny khaki slacks, Bafana Bafana golf shirt and R1 500 sneakers?

No, my friend, you can just say I am a big sports fan," he offered, before fighting his way to the bar at the back of the hotel function room where the presentation was screened. "Fill it, my man," he said, waving his tumbler in front of a terrified barman, gold wristwatch rattling, "and easy on the water." And - clunk! - there went another empty bottle of Johnny Walker Black Label onto a small but steadily growing pile.

And then came the voices of reason. One of the South African bid ambassadors, Ghanaian star and three times African Player of the Year Abedi Pele, told me, "Look. Victory? Well I wouldn't go as far as to say that, but, yes, it was really great."

Soccer legend Franz Beckenbauer, roped in to help with the SA bid and the man behind Germany's successful 2006 bid, was even more blunt. " Yes, yes, it was excellent. You saw the presentation? It was all good-hearted, but it was not enough. Sports politics, you know?"

The way some people whispered and muttered about the voting process here, Zurich this weekend was a city so choked with conspiracy and dark, political intrigue that it made Graham Greene's The Third Man look like the seventh dwarf - Dopey.

How was Spain going to vote? It was Open Secret Number 24 that they wanted the 2010 World Cup in Morocco. Close to Europe and all that. Their boys could just jet in from the comfort of their own homes, kick a bit of footy, and then back home to paella country, just like that. Well, yes, went the contras, with Pragmatic Argument Number Seven, what about security. You know the Spanish will never forgive the Moroccans for the Madrid train bombs...

And then Bafana Bafana's coach, Stuart Baxter, came up with another theory, this time Number 17.

"Now," he said, "and mind you, this is only what I heard from this feller, quite a well-connected guy in the game, and no, I won't say who he is for now, but he said, 'You know, Stu, this Blatter, he's quite a political animal, always with one eye open on a good opportunity to present himself in the best light.' "

Well, yes, and here - according to the unnamed informant via the amiable and good-natured Baxter, it must be stressed - is what Blatter wanted: a photo opportunity with Mandela.

It would be quite a magnificent photo, certainly one for the history books and one that would sit there, pride of place, in the trophy cabinet in the den at Chez Blatter.

Imagine - the glare of the flashbulbs, the opening of the envelope, the announcement that the World Cup is going south in 2010, all the way to the bottom of Africa, the hands raised in triumph, and more importantly, the Blatter hand, clasped in victory, aloft, in the hand of the mighty Madiba! Now is that not something, or what?

The announcement of the host country for the 2010 World Cup nothing more than a photo opportunity? If that was the case, then Blatter got his wish.

But, more importantly, the bid went to SA. The Fifa members made their decisions long before Zurich. The presentations? Well, maybe they reinforced them, maybe they swayed a few convictions. But all the presentations were good. Like South Africa, Egypt, Libya and Morocco would also have thrown a lot of money into their PR. After all, a lot was at stake here.

It was perhaps small potatoes, but, in this regard, Blatter did make the point that Egypt's was the best presentation of the lot.

And, as President Thabo Mbeki pointed out to guests at that banquet, South Africa made a serious faux pas in their's.

Turning to Irvin Khoza, he said, "Irvin, when we arrived at Fifa this afternoon, I learnt something we forgot about. There, on those banners, I didn't know Fifa were celebrating their centenary this year."

Whoops! We forgot to mention that in our presentation. Whopping oversight or what? Would the executive body of world football oversee this oversight? Hmmm...

And Libya? What of Libya? Were they serious?

Well, said my 23rd Deep Throat, "They'll get at least one vote. In the first round."

One vote? Was this a face-saving gesture? A nod of acknowledgment, a welcome of sorts, to a former pariah nation coming in from the cold?

"Nah," came the reply. "They gotta get a vote otherwise Tripoli cancels the cheque."

But, in truth, Libya didn't even get that vote. By insisting on a joint bid with Tunisia, who pulled out of the race on Friday, they had effectively disqualified themselves.

Embarrassingly, Egypt got nothing either.

Perhaps the last word should go to Nelson Mandela. He told the world's press yesterday that the losing countries should not be disheartened, that their time would come, and, most importantly, all of Africa were now victors.

"We wish you well," he said. "Next time you will win."

Vuvuzelas blare from north to south

Cities and highways come to a standstill as excited South Africans celebrate into the night

Blowing on our trumpets: It's vuvuzela time at kings park

At events celebrating the World Cup bid victory throughout the stars and nobodies hugged each other in glee. The euphoria reached such a pitch that motorists left their cars on busy roads to join in.

Politicians ditched their decorum. In Durban, Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Premier S'bu Ndebele leaped onto a police horse and tried - unsuccessfully - to urge the animal through the screaming crowds.

At the Mofolo Cultural Bowl in Soweto, kwaito singers shared the triumph with deceased pop singer Brenda Fassie.

The group Alaska received a thunderous emotional response from a crowd of around 2 000 when they declared: "Brenda Fassie, wherever you are, know that we have made it!"

"I am a proud South African; I thank God I was born in the right place," said kwaito singer Senyaka as he moved through the crowd.

A small contingent of white suburbanites made the trip to Soweto "to be at celebration ground zero".

At Durban's King's Park Soccer Stadium, provincial MECs joined celebrities leaping about and punching the air on stage as Fifa president Sepp Blatter announced that South Africa would host the 2010 Cup. About 5 000 revellers danced on the field below.

Dressed in a gold African outfit, Durban Mayor Obed Mlaba blew a vuvuzela horn and declared: " Finally, our hour has come.

"The dawn of the African century has delivered us our first Soccer World Cup - and the victory is so very sweet. Halala South Africa! We are ubuntu people and we want the world to come here and experience our African magic."

Actor Rapulana Seiphemo, Tau in the soapie Generations, said: "I've got no words. This is the happiest moment South Africa has ever been through."

 

In Cape Town, streets erupted with the sound of soccer horns and car hooters as news of the bid victory spread.

At the official party at the Good Hope Centre, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel was on stage with a yellow horn, shouting: "In the spirit of Fifa fair play, the bid belongs to us. The bid belongs to us!"

Outside, 73-year-old Elizabeth February wiped tears from her eyes.

"I hope I'm still alive by the time the World Cup comes. I will do my best to stay alive because I want to watch the matches," she said.

Large toyi-toying groups blocked streets around the Grand Parade as they moved through the city centre celebrating.

The bid victory was heralded as a break not only for South African soccer but for the country's music industry.

Kwaito star Mandoza, a huge grin on his face, said in Durban that the Cup would finally give South African music a world stage.

"I am so so relieved and happy that this is happening to our country. It's going to open a lot of doors for us.

"It's about time we exposed South African music to the world," he said.

In Johannesburg, gospel singer Rebecca Malope jumped up and down and blew her own vuvuzela with all the air in her lungs as the announcement was made.

In the streets around Church Square in Pretoria, motorists - and even some traffic police - honked their horns to add to the resounding din at a jam-packed celebration in the square.

The Executive Mayor of Tshwane, Smangaliso Mkhat shwa, jumped with joy as South Africa's name was read out. Mkhatshwa said people attending church tomorrow should "thank God Almighty" for delivering the Cup.

People at Church Square climbed on anything and everything to get a view of the screen and the stage.

At Vodaworld in Midrand, a massive crowd - which grew in size after the announcement - jumped on chairs, waved flags and hugged. Champagne flowed in the VIP area.

Crackers exploded and there was a fly-past of Spitfires.

The VIP revellers included Metro FM station manager Lesley Ntloko, British High Commissioner David Higgs and mining entrepreneur Bridgette Radebe. They partied to acts like Malaika, T K, Trompies, Tamara Dey and Lesego Motsepe, who plays Lettie Matabane in the soapie Isidingo.

Springbok rugby player Joe van Niekerk said: "I think for South Africa this is so great. We are very proud as South Africans and in just the way soccer threw its weight behind the Rugby World Cup, everyone in rugby will undoubtedly give their all."

Robin Peterson, former chief executive of the Premier Soccer League cried openly. "Danny Jordaan really is South Africa's hero," he said.

Andy Scott, spokesman for the national paralympics team, Amakroko-kroko, said: "This is definitely one of the most significant days in South African history."

At Gugulethu, cape Town's Skhoma S S Butchery, where a big-screen TV and a tent had been set up, a hushed crowd erupted with such joy that they drowned out the music from the DJ after Blatter's announcement.

Punching his fists in the air and jumping up and down, resident Babini Fatyela yelled: "Africa, you have arrived! Let all Africans stand behind South Africa."

In Sandton, Dr Ali Bacher, former executive director of the Cricket World Cup, was in such a "state of elation" that he did not know exactly where he was when the Sunday Times called him on his cellphone at 1pm - and had no idea where he was going next.

"I, um, I'm not sure; I'm just wandering around outside on the street, elated!" Bacher laughed. "I'm just so over the moon!"

At the Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown, as many as 5 000 people gathered for the celebrations. Almost everyone seemed to be carrying a vuvuzela horn, including the executive mayor of Johannesburg, Amos Masondo.

Also carrying a horn was the person outside of soccer set to seize the greatest benefit from the bid victory - Cheryl Carolus, CEO of South African Tourism.

Carolus said: "I am over the moon! SA Tourism will spend time with all the nine provinces to mobilise Team South Africa."

With radio personality Ike Phaahla acting as master of ceremonies of the party, revellers danced the afternoon away to performances by Malope, Thandiswa, Bongo Maffin, Tshepo Tshola and jazz artist Jonas Gwangwa.

When the bid was announced on a big screeen, cars, trucks and taxis on the nearby overhead highway came to a stop.

Drivers and passengers got out of their vehciles and started cheering, singing and hugging complete strangers. They remained out of their vehicles for as long as 15 minutes.

Mayor Masondo said: "The opening ceremony and the first game will be held in Johannesburg. The final game will also be in Johannesburg and the name of Jozi will linger in the minds of the visitors for a very long time."

'A gift to all South Africans'

Development of young players is the key to ensuring Bafana's success at home tournament in six years' time

Luke Alfred in Zurich

And the winner is: Fifa president Sepp Blatter draws South Africa's name from the envelope during yesterday's ceremony

South African soccer, so often accused of being directionless, has now had direction imposed upon it. By winning the right to host the World Cup in six years' time we have something to look forward to. We also have something to plan for.

 

"The key now for our soccer is that we all need to work on proper development," said 2010 Bid ambassador Phil Masinga yesterday.

"This World Cup award will really bring people back into the game. Everyone will come back into the stands and that will be good. People like Patrice [Motsepe] and Tokyo [Sexwale] are putting big money into the game. That's really good."

Rolling up the sleeves and getting down to grassroots development has never been South African football's forté. Perhaps it will be now.

The authorities have assumed complacently that the Masingas and Benni McCarthys of this world will simply emerge from the endless production line that is township football.

But increasingly, the dwindling fortunes of our national team has proved that this isn't the case. A first-round exit in the African Cup of Nations earlier in the year proved as much.

Yet Gary Mabbutt, the former Spurs and England central defender and another bid ambassador, was upbeat about future prospects.

"The power of sport is immense," he said."

"And the power of winning this bid is also going to be immense. I've coached in Umlazi and on the Cape Flats and the love and passion for football is wonderful. This is a gift to all South Africans, not just the players and fans; it's the world's gift for what's been achieved in 10 years of democracy."

The host nation traditionally plays the opening game of the tournament and should, say, South Africa be drawn with a traditional footballing powerhouse, they will not want to be embarrassed on the first day.

Neither will they want to be ashamed of their status as future World Cup hosts at any point between now and then.

Stuart Baxter, new national coach who was in Zurich to witness the announcement, is probably patting himself on the back right now - twice or three times for good measure.

Although he only has a two-year contract, it will not be lost on Baxter that host countries have an unusually good record in recent World Cups - all the more reason to invigorate the PSL and woo the foreign legion back into national colours.

France, hosts of the 1998 event, beat Brazil 3-0 in the final that year; in 2002, with Japan and South Korea co-hosting the event, both teams were relative unknowns in international footballing terms. Yet South Korea powered their way into the semifinals, losing to Turkey in the playoff for third and fourth place. Japan's contribution to the tournament was similarly appealing. They gate-crashed into the quarterfinals before bowing out.

Young players, current players, administrators, those who care for the game, will know about this intriguing relationship between hosting the World Cup and doing well at the event itself. Football, unlike cricket, say, seems to bring out the best in a host nation during a passionate 90 minutes. But for now it seems appropriate to dream. Imagine Bafana taking on Uruguay in the opening game or, better still Brazil or Holland.

Dream of Steven Pienaar stabbing home from close range in the dying minutes, Mbulelo Mabizela doing likewise. There are little boys (and men) around the country doing that right now.

And that's exactly what the World Cup has done - inspired us to fantasise the dream, to be happy.

May 15 - a day to remember

Historic decision will touch every South African and is a resounding victory for sport, the guardian of dreams

Luke Alfred at the World Trade Centre, Zurich

In time to come, May 15, 2004, a Saturday, will chime powerfully among the great dates in contemporary South African history.

A date that will be highlighted and capitalised in school textbooks. It will be seen by fans, children and citizens as the day the World Cup came to South Africa, a date to rank alongside other significant dates in the long and troubled history of this sometimes blighted, sometimes beautiful, land.

Unlike other dates in the history of the country one might mention -1652, 1948, 1976, 1994, dates that are indisputably linked to politics - May 15 will represent a victory for the holder of dreams - for sport.

The dates mentioned above are either directly or indirectly tied up with the spilling of blood.

Not May 15, 2004. It is a date for the through ball, the flat back four, the poetry of a curling free kick as it cascades into the net.

Songs will be written, jokes told, stories fashioned. In time to come people will recall where they were when they first heard the announcement; they will remember what they were wearing, what kind of day it was. It will be a story to tell the sons and daughters and the grandchildren.

It will be a date immortalised by the local advertising industry. But it will be more.

Danny Jordaan, CEO of SA's 2010 Bid Committee, is fond of telling the world of the events that have been successfully hosted by South Africa, most notably last year's Cricket World Cup and the Summit on Sustainable Economic Development the year before that.

There is an archness to such comparisons, and Jordaan knows it. He knows that a World Cup is so enormous an event that it will dwarf everything that has come before it.

In terms of money, prestige and organisational and logistical demands, the World Cup over shadows anything South Africa has ever attempted.

It galvanises a nation who look forward to it like a long-awaited birthday present; it makes a country feel good about itself.

The World Cup can be an event of such significance that it draws a line in the sand. Periods in the history of a country are sometimes divided into pre and post World Cup phases.

The World Cup in the US in 1994 boosted a growing sport in that country to new levels, most notably in women's football.

The victory of home country France in 1998 underlined that country's impeccable footballing pedigree. It also celebrated the role of black Frenchmen, many of whom were born in France's former colonies, and the joyful role they played in the creation of Aime Jacquet's fine team.

The World Cup two years ago moved the sport into new frontiers - Japan and South Korea. It will surely head for China in years to come.

A World Cup is not only about national pride, which is relatively intangible. It is also about hard economic realities.

When Germany are playing against Argentina there are accompanying wars off the pitch: between Nike and Adidas, Sony and Time-Warner, Eurosport and ESPN. South Africa desperately needs its cut in all of this.

South Africa is a country that traditionally struggles to generate sufficient internal investment to bridge the gap between rich and poor. We also struggle to attract necessary foreign investment to do exactly the same.

World Cup profits will generally be concentrated in the hands of the already rich and wealthy, both institutional and individual. But it will also cater for the little guy: the seller of boerewors rolls, the taxi driver, the township tour operator, the slick musician who drums up a catchy World Cup melody, the lucky artist who designs the cuddly mascot.

Jordaan and the backers of the bid know that it is important that ordinary men and women, the basic entrepreneur, the poor and the needy, are not frozen out of the money-and-pride loop.

In this sense, Jordaan and the government have honoured their much-stated commitment to transformation and development. This, then, is the World Cup's ultimate achievement.

The intellectual weight of the bid is in general in keeping with the government's desire to better and improve. At the same time, the bid committee have not neglected efficiency and delivery. Jordaan and his team have not only achieved their goal, they have done so in a manner that doesn't compromise some of their most sincere beliefs. They have won on two counts. And so have we all.

It's South Africa

(FIFA) 15 May 2004

South Africa will host the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.

The announcement has just been made by FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter at the World Trade Center in Zurich, Switzerland after a secret ballot of the 24-man Executive Committee of world football's governing body. South Africa becomes the first African nation to host the planet's most popular sporting event.

Once Africa was chosen as the first to kick-off the continental rotation of the FIFA World Cup, its 52 associations were invited to submit bids. From October 2003 to the end of January 2004, FIFA's inspection committee visited Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Africa and Tunisia to assess the merits of the five nations left in the race. Yesterday the delegations arrived in Zurich to make final presentations, attempting to convince Executive Committee members that their submission was the best. Last night, the 24 members retired to consider the proposals and once again this morning before a secret ballot was carried out to decide the chosen nation.

May 15 - a day to remember

Historic decision will touch every South African and is a resounding victory for sport, the guardian of dreams

Luke Alfred at the World Trade Centre, Zurich

In time to come, May 15, 2004, a Saturday, will chime powerfully among the great dates in contemporary South African history.

 

A date that will be highlighted and capitalised in school textbooks. It will be seen by fans, children and citizens as the day the World Cup came to South Africa, a date to rank alongside other significant dates in the long and troubled history of this sometimes blighted, sometimes beautiful, land.

Unlike other dates in the history of the country one might mention -1652, 1948, 1976, 1994, dates that are indisputably linked to politics - May 15 will represent a victory for the holder of dreams - for sport.

The dates mentioned above are either directly or indirectly tied up with the spilling of blood.

Not May 15, 2004. It is a date for the through ball, the flat back four, the poetry of a curling free kick as it cascades into the net.

Songs will be written, jokes told, stories fashioned. In time to come people will recall where they were when they first heard the announcement; they will remember what they were wearing, what kind of day it was. It will be a story to tell the sons and daughters and the grandchildren.

It will be a date immortalised by the local advertising industry. But it will be more.

Danny Jordaan, CEO of SA's 2010 Bid Committee, is fond of telling the world of the events that have been successfully hosted by South Africa, most notably last year's Cricket World Cup and the Summit on Sustainable Economic Development the year before that.

There is an archness to such comparisons, and Jordaan knows it. He knows that a World Cup is so enormous an event that it will dwarf everything that has come before it.

In terms of money, prestige and organisational and logistical demands, the World Cup over shadows anything South Africa has ever attempted.

It galvanises a nation who look forward to it like a long-awaited birthday present; it makes a country feel good about itself.

The World Cup can be an event of such significance that it draws a line in the sand. Periods in the history of a country are sometimes divided into pre and post World Cup phases.

The World Cup in the US in 1994 boosted a growing sport in that country to new levels, most notably in women's football.

The victory of home country France in 1998 underlined that country's impeccable footballing pedigree. It also celebrated the role of black Frenchmen, many of whom were born in France's former colonies, and the joyful role they played in the creation of Aime Jacquet's fine team.

The World Cup two years ago moved the sport into new frontiers - Japan and South Korea. It will surely head for China in years to come.

A World Cup is not only about national pride, which is relatively intangible. It is also about hard economic realities.

When Germany are playing against Argentina there are accompanying wars off the pitch: between Nike and Adidas, Sony and Time-Warner, Eurosport and ESPN. South Africa desperately needs its cut in all of this.

South Africa is a country that traditionally struggles to generate sufficient internal investment to bridge the gap between rich and poor. We also struggle to attract necessary foreign investment to do exactly the same.

World Cup profits will generally be concentrated in the hands of the already rich and wealthy, both institutional and individual. But it will also cater for the little guy: the seller of boerewors rolls, the taxi driver, the township tour operator, the slick musician who drums up a catchy World Cup melody, the lucky artist who designs the cuddly mascot.

Jordaan and the backers of the bid know that it is important that ordinary men and women, the basic entrepreneur, the poor and the needy, are not frozen out of the money-and-pride loop.

In this sense, Jordaan and the government have honoured their much-stated commitment to transformation and development. This, then, is the World Cup's ultimate achievement.

The intellectual weight of the bid is in general in keeping with the government's desire to better and improve. At the same time, the bid committee have not neglected efficiency and delivery. Jordaan and his team have not only achieved their goal, they have done so in a manner that doesn't compromise some of their most sincere beliefs. They have won on two counts. And so have we all.

Theories, plots and lots of whisky

Somehow, the South Africans sensed on Friday that the World Cup was in the bag

Andrew Donaldson: Zurich

'It's been a long, long road. But we're there'

 

Mbeki pledges to make 2010 FIFA World Cup an "African Cup"

15 May 2004
by AFP

President Thabo Mbeki pledged Saturday to make the 2010 football World Cup in South Africa an "African Cup".

"When we say this is an African cup, that includes all the other countries and also those who competed against us -- Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt - we want to see them as partners and participants in the World Cup," said Mbeki speaking to a crowd of jubilant South Africans in Pretoria.

"Other Africans in the Caribbean, United States and Brazil - We want them also to feel part of the African Cup," the South African president said. "For this, South Africa will be a home for all Africa," he said. South Africa won the right to host the 2010 World Cup finals, the first to be played in Africa.

YEBO!
South Africans yesterday threw the biggest party since freedom day in 1994 following the announcement that this country will host the biggest sporting event in the world - the 2010 soccer World Cup.

Theories, plots and lots of whisky
Want a winning poker hand? How about three Nobel Peace Prize winners? All in the same room.The South African delegation had serious clout, any way you looked at it.

Vuvuzelas blare from north to south
At events celebrating the World Cup bid victory throughout the stars and nobodies hugged each other in glee. The euphoria reached such a pitch that motorists left their cars on busy roads to join in.

Economic Cup will overflow
South Africa will score a direct windfall from the World Cup of over R21-billion - but that is likely to be dwarfed by tourism and investment spin-offs.

'A gift to all South Africans'
South African soccer, so often accused of being directionless, has now had direction imposed upon it. By winning the right to host the World Cup in six years' time we have something to look forward to.

Fifa:
Mandela: "We accept with humility and without arrogance"

(FIFA) 15 May 2004

It was twenty-one minutes past noon both in Switzerland and South Africa when the envelope was opened, its contents withdrawn and FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter long-awaited words, barely audible above the noise, spoken. At 12:21 on 15 May 2004, history had been made; it was the time of Africa and South Africa to stage the world's greatest sporting festival.
"I am delighted that an African association has earned the right to host the FIFA World Cup," said the head of world football's governing body as the South African bidding delegation embraced before a press conference at the World Trade Center in Zurich. Meanwhile elated journalists, many sporting workman's helmets, blew "vuvuzela" plastic horns and sang the traditional African "Shosholoza" anthem in the packed auditorium.
The South African team, including former president Nelson Mandela, bid chairman Irvin Khoza and chief executive Danny Jordaan, were invited onto the stage to answer questions. With 14 votes to Morocco's ten and Egypt's none, South Africa had been chosen as hosts of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ from the first round of voting.

"Each member of the Executive Committee was called on by the General Secretary to cast his vote by secret ballot. Under these conditions, we can only know the choice of each Executive Committee member by asking them individually," answered Mr Blatter to a journalist's question before giving the floor to the winning delegation.
"This is for Africa," said a remarkably controlled Irwin Khoza "For 44 million South Africans, this is for you. We have the jewel in the crown of sporting events."
Over recent months Nelson Mandela had campaigned tirelessly to promote his nation's bid.
Sitting next to Mr Blatter, South Africa's former president, who had spent 27 of his 85 years in prison under the apartheid regime, could not hold back his tears and they fell freely down his cheeks.
"I feel like a young man of 15," he said to laughter. But, typically, Mandela's first thought was for others - the people of Morocco, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia: "You must not be discouraged. It is no reflection of your efforts. Next time when you compete, you may be luckier."
A message to the people back home?
"South Africans should treat this decision with humility and without arrogance because we are, after all, equal," he responded with a booming voice that sent a shiver down the spine, prompting one Egyptian journalist to stand up and say "We love you Nelson Mandela".
Speaking through experience, Danny Jordaan, who had been involved in South Africa's one-vote final-round defeat four years ago, also took time to sympathise with his African "brothers".
"The World Cup decision is a big victory for one and a massive defeat for others," he said. "But let us join hands and move forward to deliver an outstanding world cup - so we don't have to wait 100 more years to stage another one.
"The dream of a nation has come true today. Some South Africans may not have food or a job but they now have hope. FIFA has said Africa is worthy. It is wonderful to be an African today!"
Speaking later, Jordaan believed the World Cup would not only be a success but help unify a nation.
"We have talked about this moment for four years. The world cup will help unify our people. If there is one thing on this planet that has the power to bind people together it is football.
"My country is ready to welcome the world. With our colourful dress, songs and dances, I can assure you 2010 will be something the world has never seen before at a World Cup."

Host nation of 2010 FIFA World Cup™ - South Africa Zurich, 15 May 2004 - South Africa will host the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, the first in the history of world football's governing body to be held in Africa. With 14 votes, South Africa were declared as winners after the first round of voting. Morocco received 10 votes, while Egypt did not tally any. FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter announced the results of the vote at a media conference held today, Saturday, 15 May 2004, at the World Trade Center in Zurich in the presence of high-ranking government officials of the candidate countries as well as hundreds of media representatives from all around the world. In a short address prior to announcing the host nation, Blatter thanked the five bidders for their excellent work and stressed: "The winner is Africa. The winner is football."Convening on Saturday morning to discuss the applications for the final time, the FIFA Executive Committee only had to deliberate over four bids, as prior to the associations' presentations on 14 May, the FIFA Executive Committee had once again confirmed that the FIFA Statutes did not provide for a co-hosting arrangement. This confirmation led Tunisia to withdraw its bid. Furthermore, during its final deliberations, the Executive Committee came to the conclusion that it could no longer consider Libya's bid as it did not meet all the stipulations laid down in the official List of Requirements. The executive also thanked the Libyan Football Federation for its work during the bidding procedure.The result of the vote represents the highlight and climax of an 18-month procedure that began at the end of 2002 with the African member associations invited to declare an interest in hosting the tournament. As well as the five countries that submitted full bid files and received visits from the FIFA Inspection Group between October 2003 and the end of January 2004, Nigeria had also shown initial interest but decided against following it up at the end of September 2003.In 2000, following the dramatic result of the voting for the host nation of the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ with Germany prevailing by 12 votes to 11 (with one abstention), the FIFA Executive Committee decided to introduce a rotation policy for the FIFA World Cup™ and accorded Africa the right to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. FIFA's flagship event will be held in South America in 2014.

Enquiries to be addressed to:
FIFA Media Office
Tel: +41-43/222 72 72
Fax: +41-43/222 73 73

FIFA Communications Division

May 15 - a day to remember
In time to come, May 15, 2004, a Saturday, will chime powerfully among the great dates in contemporary South African history.

Successful Cup bid a catalyst to get our sporting houses in order
Former Boston Red Sox manager Johnny Besky once said: "When you win, you eat better, sleep better, your beer tastes better and your wife looks like Gina Lollobrigida." So, how does your beer taste after South Africa's successful bid for the 2010 Soccer World Cup?

Now our fate is in our hands, says legendary Ace
Having to attend a funeral before the announcement of the winning World Cup bid couldn't dampen the Amakhosi's spirits at the Kaizer Chiefs village yesterday.

Beware the Bafana XI of 2010
The year is 2010. The FNB Stadium is bursting at the seams as hosts Bafana Bafana square up against superpower Germany in the opening match.

- 10 things you didn't know

- Moroccans blame Blatter

- Tickets to heaven for Fifa, promises Tutu

- Unlikely team comes together to save SA bid

- An idiot's guide to the 2010 Soccer World Cup

- More stadiums, and better

- A short leap of the imagination six years into the future

May 11:
Mbeki, De Klerk to punt SA's 2010 bid
SA is to take a star-studded lineup that includes well-known luminaries, President Thabo Mbeki, former president FW de Klerk and Archbishop Desmond Tutu to Zurich, Switzerland, for its final presentation to world football governing body Fifa.

May 09:
Jordaan still bubbly after Fifa report
... but it's not all champagne and roses as the world governing body point out problem areas in South Africa's 2010 bid

Egypt sneak in ahead of Morocco
What the inspection team said about South Africa's opponents

Three rounds to determine winner
24 Fifa members will bring joy or sorrow to SA's Cup dream

How will the crucial votes fall?
Initial reports indicated the Caf president was a strong Moroccan supporter.

Money will flow in buckets
The 2010 World Cup could mean more than R3.8-billion flowing into South Africa, according to the Fifa technical report.

A different ball game four years later
A wave of disbelief and anger swept across South Africa on July 6, 2000, with the news that the country had lost their bid to host the 2006 Soccer World Cup Finals.

Years of moving and shaking will come down to an agonising hour
The short - and possibly unpalatable - answer to the question everyone is asking this week is that no-one knows.

The Big Pitcher
Underhand tactics may have cost South Africa the 2006 World Cup, but honesty has again been the touchstone of our 2010 bid. As the nation holds its breath for Fifa's decision, one man, bid-committee chief Danny Jordaan is confident that he has played it straight and the country is ready. Ahead of Saturday's vital announcement, Luke Alfred met the hardest working man in South African football...

Fingers crossed for The Greatest show on earth
South Africa stands on the brink of winning the right to host the 2010 World Cup finals after a spectacular piece of gamesmanship from Fifa that installed the country in poll position in the bidding race.

Our theatres of dreams
South Africa has the best stadiums in Africa but more will be required, writes Nicholas Neveling.

32 teams, 64 games, a host of logistics
The Fifa World Cup 2010 will be contested by 32 teams in the months of June and July of that year.

Sponsors to pay R2.3bn
South Africa's bid team says big-name brands have already given the nod to 42% of its target

Steps to make Bafana a World Cup contender
The big question for all soccer fans ahead of 2010 is what sort of squad will South Africa be able to field ? And will it be competitive?

Bottom line for World Cup host
If South Africa's bid to host the Soccer World Cup 2010 is successful, its planned expenditure is expected to be in the order of R2.8-billion. Revenue, generated mainly through ticket sales to the 64 matches, will be an estimated R3.5-billion.

May 5:
Crime could derail World Cup bid
SA's aspirations to become the first African nation to host the Soccer World Cup received a significant boost yesterday when the technical team of world football governing body Fifa ranked the country's 2010 bid as the best.

May 5:
SA in pole position for World Cup - FIFA
South Africa's position as front runners to host the 2010 World Cup was confirmed after the publication of FIFA's inspection report into the five African nations vying to host the competition.

April 25:
Big names back campaign for soccer World Cup
HIGH-profile South Africans have thrown their weight behind a Sunday Times campaign to collect a million signatures in support of South Africa' s bid to host the 2010 soccer World Cup.

April 18:
Tough Fifa rules stymie Bid plans
FIFA restrictions for the final announcement in Zurich on May 15 have given South Africa's 2010 Bid Company a headache.

November 23:
German support for 2010 Bid in doubt
Germany's soccer supremo Franz Beckenbauer's reluctance to formally endorse South Africa's 2010 World Cup Bid highlighted his country's uncertainty regarding their stance with just under six months to go before the Fifa executive members vote.

November 9:
Flattery will get SA nowhere
Jordaan's 2010 bid team prepare for major push as voting gets close to D-day for African contenders.

Real may play in SA
South Africa's 2010 World Cup Bid Committee has made an official offer to Real Madrid to play a friendly in South Africa early next year.

Politics is the key to World Cup voting
A day is a long time in politics. And a week with the Fifa bid inspectors is a lifetime in purgatory if you're a member of the local media trying to figure out what this visit amounted to.

Spectre of empty stadiums dampens Cup euphoria
Fifa technical inspectors came, saw and left grinning from ear to ear regarding South Africa's ability to host the Soccer World Cup. But empty stadiums at PSL matches are still a major cause for concern.

How the decision will be made
The venue of the 2010 Soccer World Cup will be decided by Fifa's 24-man executive in May 2004.

November 3:
Ajax, Chiefs fans do their bit for SA bid
The visiting Fifa inspectors have so far declined to comment on SA's chances of winning the 2010 Soccer World Cup bid.

November 02:
Old campaigners recall past glory during Bid visit
Memories of the good old days flooded back when one of the Fifa inspectors, here to assess South Africa's ability to host the 2010 soccer World Cup, met a former teammate at the Orlando Stadium yesterday.

November02:
Who are these Fifa Inspectors?
Get the lowdown on the FIFA inspectors.

November02:
A nation crosses its fingers
Mbeki joins the charm offensive as SA pulls out all the stops for Fifa's World Cup inspectors.

November02:
Amakhosi magic dazzles Fifa
Pride and passion as Chiefs and Ajax wow fans to show the world just what SA soccer is made of.

November 02:
Fifa World Cup team has a ball
Johannesburg yesterday put on a memorable show for the Fifa inspection team evaluating South Africa's readiness to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

November 02:
Sunday Times Editorial Comment: So much more than a sporting contest
Members of the Fifa delegation who visited South Africa this week to see for themselves whether we are capable of hosting the World Cup received a hero's welcome. And so they should have.

October 31:
Fans urged to fill Ellis Park stadium
The Fifa team will visit Ellis Park stadium on Saturday for the Kaizer Chiefs and Ajax Cape Town match, local football supporters have been encouraged buy tickets in advance.

October 30:
Cape Town rearing and ready for Fifa
Cape Town unicity executive councillor Thozama Mlanjeni is to lead a task team ahead of soccer world governing body Fifa's inspectors to the city.

October 30:
PE gears up to play ball with Fifa
International soccer body Fifa will visit Port Elizabeth to see for itself wether it can host World Cup soccer matches.

October 28:
'Politicking' emerges during 2010 world soccer bid
There was more international politicking over who will host the 2010 soccer world cup than last time, South Africa's bid committee chief executive Danny Jordaan has said.

October 28:
Fifa inspection team heads for SA
A Fifa technical team will arrive in Johannesburg on Thursday to sample the country and compile a report as South Africa bids to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

October 26:
Egyptians cash in on security for World Cup, but still fear SA bid
The race to the Soccer World Cup 2010 has been the talk of the town in the land of the Pharaohs, a nation with a passion for soccer.

June 01:
If SA wins right to host Cup, it will have to hang on to it
For South Africa, the battle for the 2010 World Cup might not be so much in the winning, but rather in the keeping.

May 25:
2010: It's far from cut and dried
Top Caf official warns against complacency with exactly a year to go until the vital decision in Zurich.

TIMELINE

2007:
Ticketing policies defined;
Ticket allocation model developed;
Stadium upgrades completed;
Stadium seating audits conducted.

2008:
Ticket packages set up;
Ticket requirements defined and documented;
Preferential ticket sales start.

2009:
Public ticket sales open;
Draw for the preliminary competition at Sun City;
Final draw for the competition at Cape Town's International Conference Centre or on Robben Island;
Test tournaments played at Newlands, King's Park, Ellis Park and Soccer City.

2010:
Ticket distribution;
One- or two-day seminar for the 32 finalist teams at Durban's International Convention Centre;
Workshop for the 32 finalist teams at Gallagher Estate;
Workshop for referees at Sandton Sun Hotel;
Fifa congress and banquet at the Sandton Convention Centre;
Staging of World Cup tournament.

'Africa's calling kicks off road to South Africa 2010

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Chairman of the African Union Commission Alpha Oumar Konare, the President of the Republic of South Africa Thabo Mbeki, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, CAF President Issa Hayatou and a whole host of other high-ranking dignitaries were in attendance to mark the official start of the journey to the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa at the 'Africa's calling' event today (7 July 2006) in Berlin. The ceremony, which included a show that had a truly African flavour, concluded with the unveiling of the official emblem for world football's flagship competition when it is held on African soil for the first time in 2010.

"This is indeed an exciting day, not only for all Africans, but for all lovers of the universal language of football. The international community can be envious of the FIFA World Cup, and should learn from the spirit of teamwork and fair play that the most universal of sports stands for," said Annan, who also congratulated Germany on staging the best World Cup of all time.

Underlining the symbolic nature of the event and the eagerness of his nation to welcome football fans from around the world, Thabo Mbeki stressed: "The 2010 FIFA World Cup will constitute a tribute to the effort, not only of South Africa, but of all Africa, to recover from many centuries of difficulties. Despite our problems, football has provided an inspiration to overcome those problems. Africa is ready, Africa's calling, come to South Africa in 2010"
FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter was keen to reiterate his support for the South African organisers and his ultimate goals for the 2010 event. "With the enthusiasm shown here today, we are already walking to Africa and South Africa in 2010," he said. "In the next four years, your messages to the world will be our messages, and together we will be able to make Africa and the world a better place."

The event served as the launchpad for a four-year project entitled "Win in Africa - with Africa" that has been initiated by Mbeki and Blatter and with which FIFA intends to ensure that the entire African continent benefits from the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Speaking on behalf of people across his entire continent, Alpha Oumar Konare had a profound message: "This day is a day of pride and responsibility for all of Africa. We are here to celebrate Africa and football, it is a time of happiness and passion. This opportunity will grant us a chance to together build a better image of Africa, of peace and friendship."

"Let me express the joy of all the African people. Today is a great day for us, the African people, and we can be proud and sure that South Africa will stage a great FIFA World Cup," added Issa Hayatou in an emphatic expression of solidarity.

The South African Local Organising Committee for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, led by its chairman, Dr Irvin Khoza, and its CEO, Dr Danny Jordaan, organised the special event at the Tempodrom in Berlin. The eleven football ambassadors of the tournament, who comprise some of the greatest African players of all-time including Abedi Pelé, Roger Milla and Lucas Radebe, all took part in the proceedings.

"This event has been a world class beginning to an African World Cup that must represent a celebration of the best that our continent can offer and present a new face of the African continent. One of peace, progress and excellence," commented Dr Danny Jordaan, CEO of the South African organising committee for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

An exhibition showcased the nine official venues for the 2010 tournament and a diverse programme of entertainment included Football Stomp, a storytelling act recounting the history and legend of the official emblem, and a performance by three African tenors.


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