FIFA World Cup-2010 begins with style and grandeur in South Africa

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From Sources: Eugene Moodubelle
Bellevision Media Network


11 June 2010:  The eagerly awaited FIFA World Cup-2010 began with style and grandeur with the spectacular opening ceremony that took place  at Johannesburg’s 94,000-capacity Soccer City Stadium. South African football fans wrapped in the rainbow colours of the national flag streamed to the majestic Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg on Friday for the historic opening game. It is the 19th staging of the FIFA World Cup and the first time it is taking place on the African continent. 

Known as “Welcome to our home in Africa”,  the 40-minute opening ceremony began with a five-plane military flypast over the stadium, which was only partially full as many fans were stuck in traffic trying to reach the venue. The opening ceremony was staged with more than 1,500 artists, including R&B singer and multiple Grammy Award winner R. Kelly. Dancers, musicians and performers, perform at the opening ceremony of the greatest sporting competition of this year, which will be broadcast live to hundreds of millions of people spread over 215 countries.

There has been excitement in South Africa, the host country, where kick-off in the opening game between South Africa and Mexico would be played  after the opening ceremony. Ticket holders began moving to the Soccer City Stadium in Soweto township, 25 km from Johannesburg, several hours before the gates opened at 10 a.m. local time. Most companies and offices gave their workers a half-day off to attend the game or watch it at home or with others on giant screen in a fan park or public viewing area.

Football fans with buzzing sound of thousands of vuvuzelas, the plastic trumpets favourite of  South African football fans moved  across the city. “Make us proud”, the Sowetan daily in its front-page headline urged the national football team known as ‘Bafana Bafana’.

Around 88,000 tickets have been sold to the opening ceremony and the first game, which is being attended by around 40 heads of state, including Mexican president Felipe Calderon, US vice president Joe Biden and a number of  African leaders. South African president Jacob Zuma and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, dressed in a yellow and green scarf and beanie  were present in the Soccer City Stadium to support the Bafana Bafana national team.

However, the euphoria and joy of the South African people at the grand opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup-2010 and the excitement of watching their national team Bafana Bafana was marred by the absence of Nelson Mandela following the tragic death of his great-granddaughter, 13 year old Zenani Mandela early Friday morning following a concert in Soweto on Thursday evening. Zenani Mandela was killed in a car accident following the event held to mark the beginning of the tournament. The 91 year old Nelson Mandela had intended to defy doctor’s orders and attend the opening ceremony and the kick off match between South Africa and Mexico but is now mourning with his family. He did send a video message welcoming the World Cup to South Africa and imploring fans "to overcome all adversities".



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Comments on this Article
Muthu Barathy k, chennai Fri, June-11-2010, 12:52
FIFA began well with style and grandeur.
tulshidas, akluj Fri, June-11-2010, 11:59
this world cup will be the best
prabhakar Gouripeddi, Prasanthinilayam, Inida Fri, June-11-2010, 11:48
Thanks who ever has written it. gave me good idea of what happened there.
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