The much awaited and anticipated sporting event of the year, the 2010 World Cup Soccer tournament finally kicked off on June 11, 2010 at the Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The FIFA world cup tournament is held once every 4 years and it’s a long bidding and qualifying process, for the participating countries and the respective teams. Italy won the last world cup championship which was held in Germany.
FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) is responsible for the organization and governance of football’s major international tournaments, most notably the FIFA World Cup, held since 1930. FIFA also has recognized 6 other confederations to help oversee various regions across the world.
A total of 32 teams qualified to take part in the final 2010 World Cup tournament from various continents and regions as mentioned in the above section (About FIFA). The qualification process began in August 2007 with 204 national teams participating from around the world.
The qualification draw for the 2010 World Cup was held in Durban, South Africa in November 2009. Qualified teams are placed in 8 groups as shown below:
– Group A: South Africa, Mexico, Uruguay, France
– Group B: Korea Republic, Argentina, Nigeria, Greece
– Group C: USA, England, Slovenia, Algeria
– Group D: Germany, Australia, Serbia, Ghana
– Group E: Netherlands, Denmark, Japan, Cameroon
– Group F: Italy, Paraguay, New Zealand, Slovakia
– Group G: Brazil, Korea DPR, Cote d’Ivoire, Portugal
– Group H: Spain, Switzerland, Honduras, Chile
Teams within each group will play each other. Two teams from reach group, with the highest points, will proceed to group of 16 who will have to compete with the each other to proceed to the quarters, semis and finals.
The soccer matches will be held across various cities in South Africa and 10 specific venues were chosen. Below is a list of all the stadiums and the cities:
1. Green Point Stadium, Cape Town
2. Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban
3. Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg
4. Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg
5. Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
6. Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
7. Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
8. Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane
9. Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg
10. Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria
Zakumi, is the official mascot for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, an anthropomorphised leopard with green hair. His name comes from “ZA”, the international abbreviation for South Africa, and “kumi”, a word that means “ten” in various African languages.
Jabulani is name of the soccer match ball for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, made by Adidas, which means “bringing joy to everyone” in isiZulu. The 11 different colors on the ball represent the 11 official languages of South Africa, the 11 diverse South African communities that exist throughout the country, and the 11 players on the pitch.