There is no doubt that 2010 will be Football World Cup year with South Africa playing host to the tournament, an event which has already caught the attention of the worldwide media as well as the online arena. As the event gets closer and closer we have seen the launch of a new FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour widget which details the worldwide journey of the World Cup and the chance for millions of adoring fans to have their photograph taken with the ultimate in the football world.
The tour began back on 24 September 2009 in Zürich, Switzerland and has now taken in locations such as Cairo, Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers, Casablanca, Nouakchott, Praia, Bamako, Banjul, Bissau, Dakar to name but a few and will finally end in Houston, Miami on 1 May 2010 ahead of the tournament. Full details of the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour widget, and your chance to download a free copy, can be found at http://celebrations.coca-cola.com/TrophyTour.
Why not check out the above link which can easily be added to your site, or your iGoogle account, allowing you to check when the World Cup tour is in your area and when you can attend.
Football and the Expat Forum
The Expat Forum has a particular interest in football with an Expat Forum sponsored team playing in the Ramadan league in Dubai and by all accounts doing very well indeed. Armed with sponsorship from the Expat Forum the team have acquired a new football strip and are currently top of their league. This is certain to be one group of footballers who will take a very keen interest in the forthcoming World Cup!
The Football World Cup 2010 in South Africa
The tournament itself begins on 11 June 2010 with the eventual winners of the World Cup crowned on 11 July 2010 in what is sure to be one of the most eagerly awaited tournaments in recent history. South Africa itself has a massive history and massive love affair with football, something which is sure to be evident to the worldwide stage in the run-up to the tournament and when the event finally begins.
As you might expect, the favourites to lift the World Cup 2010 are Brazil at 5/1, Spain at 5/1, England at 6.8/1, Argentina at 10/1, Germany at 13/1 and the Netherlands at 16/1, to name but a small selection of the favourites. The odds on individual teams will change over the weeks and months ahead as injuries come into play, form is studied and ultimately the shape of World Cup squads begins to emerge.
Stadiums to be used for the World Cup 2010 event
This is the first time that the World Cup has been held in Africa and South Africa itself has made a massive attempt to improve the infrastructure, facilities and stadiums up and down the country. After an initial shortlist of 13 venues were placed under consideration, the final 10 have been announced and include Johannesburg (2 locations), Durban, Cape Town, Tshwane, Nelson Mandela Bay, Mangaung, Polokwane, Nelspruit and Rustenburg.
The organisers have invested millions upon millions of pounds into these locations with state-of-the-art stadiums set to greet the wave of football fans and football teams sure to flock to the event.
Football in Africa
One of the main reasons why the World Cup 2010 has been handed to South Africa is the massive emergence of football in the region, something which has brought together local towns, local cities and local communities. Of the 53 African teams who entered the qualifying stages for the World Cup 2010, the Ivory Coast and Ghana are the only confirmed qualifiers at the moment although a further four places, including South Africa, are available.
Despite the fact there have been a number of alleged security scares with regards to some of the locations for the South Africa World Cup, the authorities have given their word that all eventualities have been catered for, security has been improved dramatically and everybody who attends the 2010 World Cup will do so under the highest degree of safety available.
South Africa 2010 and the Internet
As we highlighted with the above official FIFA World Cup Tour widget, there is enormous interest in the World Cup, something which is intensifying as the event gets ever nearer. Some teams have been attempting to qualify for over three years and the Internet is already beginning to feel World Cup fever with more and more websites appearing, more and more interest in the event and tourist numbers expected to explode between now and the beginning of the World Cup tournament itself.
Travelling to South Africa
While South Africa itself has a very mixed reputation around the world, with various security issues often being highlighted as “commonplace” in the country, there is no doubt about the beauty, the culture and the ever developing economy which has again put South Africa back on the map. Many people will be amazed at the variety of landscapes, cultures and scenery close at hand. This is a country which has been overly criticised in the past and one which many people, to their own detriment, would appear to have ignored in favour of the more “popular” expat areas of the world.
It is easy to forget this is a country with a population of 49 million, a land mass of over 1,200,000 km², an economy with a gross domestic product approaching $300 billion as well as a country with an enormous diversity in its population and a massive financial services sector. Historically there have been issues with regards to overseas trade because of restrictions within the country but on the whole these have been lifted and South Africa has for some time been travelling to “the promised land” of the international community and further integration into this particular arena.
As we move towards World Cup year there is a natural build-up of excitement and anticipation regarding the beginning of the event although the ongoing FIFA World Cup tour, and the online widget now available, has intensified this particular wave of excitement. South Africa will soon have the chance to show the world that it has changed, that it can hold prominent international tournaments, it has the infrastructure to cope and ultimately that it is able to put on one of the best shows in living history.
Many people are expecting a significant increase in expat interest in South Africa with more details now merging of a changing physical landscape, cultural landscape and economic landscape. This all bodes well for the medium to long term future of South Africa and its ever growing presence on the international stage.