EVANS MALATULA

Many South Africans still remember the day the words “The 2010 FIFA World Cup will be held in South Africa” came from FIFA president, Joseph Sepp Blatter. This took place on 15 May 2004 at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. Since that day, South Africans have been looking forward to the year 2010. South Africa is the first country on the African continent to host the biggest soccer event in the world. However, not everyone is well-informed about the World Cup. Therefore, Perdeby has decided to give you more information regarding the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The first FIFA World Cup took place in Uruguay in 1930 and has taken place every four years since then. South Africa is hosting the 19th tournament wherein 32 national teams from different continents will take part.

Who will take part in the 2010 World Cup?

Each continent has representatives in the tournament and most of these participants have already been decided on. South Africa automatically qualified as the host country and another five countries will be representing Africa this year. Ghana and Ivory Coast have already secured their places, while the remaining three are yet to be decided. The European continent will be represented by the top 13 out of 53 countries that take part in the qualifying games. The countries that have already qualified are England, Italy, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, Slovakia, Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark. Asia will be represented by Japan and North and South Korea. Honduras, the United States of America and Mexico will represent the Caribbean and North and Central America. South America will be represented by Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Paraguay. These are not the only countries that will be competing in the World Cup, since the qualifying matches are still in progress.

Where will the games take place?

In South Africa, nine cities will play host to the 64 games that will be played during the competition. The host cities are Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth, Nelspruit, Polokwane, Rustenburg, and Pretoria. The games will be played in ten stadiums located in the host cities. The stadiums are Green Point Stadium (Cape Town), Moses Mabhida Stadium (Durban), Ellis Park (Johannesburg), Soccer City (previously known as FNB Stadium, Johannesburg), Free State Stadium (Bloemfontein), Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium (Port Elizabeth), Mbombela Stadium (Nelspruit), Peter Mokaba Stadium (Polokwane), Royal Bafokeng Stadium (Rustenburg), and Loftus Versfeld (Pretoria).

Tickets

Tickets are available in four different categories. Seats for category one tickets are generally located alongside the pitch. Category two’s seats are located in the corners alongside category one’s. Category three seats are located adjacent to category two’s in the corners behind the goals. Category four seats are located behind the goals. Category four tickets are reserved for South African residents only. Ticket prices vary according to the category and the stage of the tournament. More information with regard to ticket prices can be obtained from the FIFA website, www.fifa.com.