Thursday, April 29, 2010
00:00: South Africa v Mexico, Johannesburg
04:30: Uruguay v France, Cape Town
04:30: South Africa v Uruguay, Pretoria
04:30: France v Mexico, Polokwane
00:00: Mexico v Uruguay, Rustenburg
00:00: France v South Africa, Bloemfontein
Group B (all times EST, 2010)
21:30: Korea Republic v Greece, Port Elizabeth
00:00: Argentina v Nigeria, Johannesburg
21:30: Argentina v Korea Republic, Johannesburg
00:00: Greece v Nigeria, Bloemfontein
04:30: Nigeria v Korea Republic, Durban
04:30: Greece v Argentina, Polokwane
Group C (all times EST, 2010)
04:30: England v United States, Rustenburg
21:30: Algeria v Slovenia, Polokwane
00:00: Slovenia v United States, Johannesburg
04:30: England v Algeria, Cape Town
00:00: Slovenia v England, Port Elizabeth
00:00: United States v Algeria, Pretoria
Group D (all times EST, 2010)
00:00: Serbia v Ghana, Pretoria
04:30: Germany v Australia, Durban
21:30: Germany v Serbia, Port Elizabeth
00:00: Ghana v Australia, Rustenburg
04:30: Ghana v Germany, Johannesburg
04:30: Australia v Serbia, Nelspruit (above stadium)
Group E (all times EST, 2010)
21:30: Netherlands v Denmark, Johannesburg
00:00: Japan v Cameroon, Bloemfontein
21:30: Netherlands v Japan, Durban
04:30: Cameroon v Denmark, Pretoria
04:30: Denmark v Japan, Rustenburg
04:30: Cameroon v Netherlands, Cape Town
Group F (all times EST, 2010)
04:30: Italy v Paraguay, Cape Town
21:30: New Zealand v Slovakia, Rustenburg
21:30: Slovakia v Paraguay, Bloemfontein
00:00: Italy v New Zealand, Nelspruit
00:00: Slovakia v Italy, Johannesburg
00:00: Paraguay v New Zealand, Polokwane
Group G (all times EST, 2010)
00:00: Cote d'Ivoire v Portugal, Port Elizabeth
04:30: Brazil v Korea DPR, Johannesburg
04:30: Brazil v Cote d'Ivoire, Johannesburg
21:30: Portugal v Korea DPR, Cape Town
00:00: Portugal v Brazil, Durban
00:00: Korea DPR v Cote d'Ivoire, Nelspruit
Group H (all times EST, 2010)
21:30: Honduras v Chile, Nelspruit
00:00: Spain v Switzerland, Durban
00:00: Chile v Switzerland, Port Elizabeth
04:30: Spain v Honduras, Johannesburg
04:30: Chile v Spain, Pretoria
04:30: Switzerland v Honduras, Bloemfontein
As World Cup fever grips soccer mad South Africa, and people rally behind the national team (Bafana Bafana), in the green and yellow of this beautiful Sourthern African nation. The unfying power of football becomes more apparent as race, class or creed dissipates into thin air. Which ever way you turn people of all races are brimming with national pride and a feeling of inexorable patriotism.
South Africa being a country born out of fires of division and adversity, it is wonderful to see what the Soccer World Cup is capable of doing despite the ever present challenges. The modern SA still struggles with issues of poverty, crime and racial division despite its booming economy. And amidst all this, people can take pride in an opposite frame, which glows with astonishing strides and achievements of a young nation.
In June 2009 the country hosted a successful FIFA Confederations Cup which underlined the aspirations of not only itself, but Africa in general. On display was the exuberance of its people, their good spiritedness (ubuntu), national unity and its sound organizational capabilities. The fighting spirit of the local team whose fortunes have been waning in recent years also came to the fore, as it stood its ground against fearsome giants such as the Samba Kings of Brazil.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup comes at a time when the hosts are redefining themselves on the political landscape, as the country moves further in the post Mandela era. Challenges are abound but the beloved nation still upholds the best constitution on planet earth, and has devoted itself to sharing its fortune with those from beyond its borders, however complicated.
With the onset of the fifth and final phase of World Cup ticket sales which began April 15 and ends July 11, local fans jumped at the opportunity to access the thousands of over-the-counter tickets available. People endured long queues and computer system crashes to purchase the tickets, the queues reflected something wonderful - the rainbow nation with all its vivid colors and creeds.
Doubts over the success of this tournament, a first in Africa will be answered in the coming months, at present almost all the host cities are 100% ready. Stadium seats are being snapped up at an alarming rate since the start of the fifth ticket sales phase, and the police is holding fort in full force.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Born on March 1, 1989, Carlos Alberto Vela Garrido began his illustrious career with the Guadalajara Club, and is currently playing for Arsenal.
The U-17 World Championship winning Mexican star is revered at Arsenal, particularly by coach Arsene Wenger.
He joined the club after spending sometime with Celta Vigo. The striker is synonymous with the spectacular as he routinely scores stunning goals for his club and country.
With the WC drawing nearer Mexico can draw inspiration from Carlos' flair and composure when they go against the likes of South Africa who they meet on June 11.
It'll be interesting to see how SA defenders like Aaron Mokoena (Portsmouth) and the 1.98 tall Matthew Booth can do to contain the troublesome Arsenal forward.
Carlos made his international debut for his country in September 2007 in a friendly against Brazil. He played a crucial role in Mexico's WC qualifiers scoring vital goals.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Born on 17 March 1982, Steven Pienaar is currently in top form for his club Everton, the star midfielder is expected to be a live wire for his country at the WC finals.
However, the team is struggling in its preparations for the big football spectacle.
Pienaar previously played for Ajax Cape Town (1998-2001), Ajax Amsterdam (2001-2006), and Borussia Dortmund (2006-2008).
The SA national team coach, Carlos Alberto Pareirra said he wishes he had seven Steven Pienaars in his WC squad which recently took a tumble on the FIFA rankings from 81st to 88th.
Bafana Bafana as they are known will take on El Tri (Mexico) in the opening encounter of the tournament on June 11.
The WC tournament comes with many good things for the host nation and football lovers in general, however for some it can mean abduction and torment.
The scourge of human trafficking is alive and operational in the Southern African region, and its perpetrators will be looking at the 2010 finals as a platform to make a quick buck.
As such, local authorities are taking extra counter-measures which include community awareness programmes, and the establishment of specialized police units and courts for the duration of the tournament.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Do you like your crazed soccer World Cup moments topped up with some serious after match partying?, then the 2010 WC finals will give you something to smile about. A series of after parties are lined up and one of them will involve the Senegalese born US rapper Akon while Lady Gagga, Kanye West and P. Diddy are
also expected to grace the Cup events.
The Samba Kings will arrive in South Africa in June as one of the tournament favorites, this well loved outfit is currently breathng roastful fire. Proud winners of a record five World Cup titles and three Confederations Cup triumphs, the latest being the 2009 Confederations Rumble in the jungle, and have qualified for virtually all World Cup tournaments since 1930.
Brazil will be part of the strong teams blocking the way for the six African teams that will enjoy African home ground advantage, in their bid to claim the illusive world title for the first time.
To gain passage to this year's FIFA World Cup tournament, the Brazilians disposed the likes of Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Peru and Bolivia among others. Exceptional firepower was on display against these teams in the CONMEBOL qualifiers.
Their opponents suffered heavy defeats which include 3-0 Peru, 4-0 Uruguay, 3-1 Argentina and 4-2 Chile. At the World Cup Dunga's men will do battle in Group G against Korea DPR (June 15), Cote d'voire (June 20, Soccer City Stadium), and Portugal (June 25).
Clearly, their encounter against Portugal will be the most interesting. The world looks forward to seeing what Kaka, Alves, Luis Fabiano, Robinho and gang have in store this time around. Their coach Dunga respects his opponents but pointed out that their group is not a group of death, and playing Portugal will be like going up against Brazil B.
Friday, April 23, 2010
With less than 50 days to Africa's first World Cup, there are still 300,000 tickets available and FIFA is confident of selling at least 95% of them.
In the past week 200,000 tickets were sold, and most of them were cheaper Category 4 tickets reserved for South Africans.
The remaining tickets are more expensive and FIFA has pointed out that no special discounts will be applied.
In the meantime, Sepp Blatter expressed his desire for former president Nelson Mandela to officiate at the opening ceremony.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Born on April 22, 1982, Ricardo Izecson dos Santos otherwise known as Kaka started his career at age eight, the midfield maestro scored 12 goals in his first season for Sao Paulo, and they went on to win the Torneio Rio-Sao Paulo Championship.
In 2003 he joined AC Milan and clinched the Scudetto and Uefa Super Cup with the team in his first season.
Kaka was Serie A Footballer of the Year in 2004 and 2007, Uefa Club Footballer of the Year 2006-2007 and FIFA World Player of the Year 2007, among other accolades.
The midfielder has also won the 2002 FIFA World Cup, and the FIFA Confederations Cup, 2005 and 2009 with Brazil.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
They managed to book their ticket to South Africa by brushing aside Croatia, Andorra, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Ukraine. Coached by Italian Fabio Capello, England only lost once to Ukraine in an impressive qualifying campaign which also involved a sweet revenge over Croatia who previously had blocked the Three Lions' way to the Euro 2008 finals.
And when the FIFA Final Draw was held in Cape Town in December, the whole of England had something to smile about. They were drawn in Group C against the United States, Algeria and Slovenia, literally making them the Tormentor-In-Chief. The English lads will open their 2010 account against the Confederations Cup finalist, the US on June 12 in Rustenburg.
They go on to lock horns against Algeria at Cape Town Stadium on June 18, followed by Slovenia on June 23 at the beautiful Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth. If the likes of Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, John Terry (captain) and company fail to reach the semi-finals, then they are most likely to go home to a frosty reception.
The England national team mentor, Capello voiced his caution after the Final Draw, by stating that an easy looking group has the potential to become complicated. He also added that his team has to win this 2010 World Cup.
FIFA rules on the use of World Cup tickets clearly stipulate that holders shall not sell, resell, donate or transfer tickets without prior approval from the official sources.
If you obtained your tickets through online or paper application channels, you should seek approval through the same.
For those purchasing tickets as part of the authorised travel packages you should contact the relevant tour operators or hospitality agents,
Ticket holders who received them from FIFA partners, sponsors, national supporters, etc, contact the individuals who forwarded them to you.
You are free to transfer to another person of your choice but only those you share a pre-existing relationship - no strangers.
Resale of tickets can only be done through official channels. For more information go to www.fifa.com/2010 or ticketing centre.
Friday, April 16, 2010
As the over-the-counter tickets sales began, thousands of tickets were snapped up between yesterday and today. As a result a number of matches have been sold out, and they include all matches in Cape Town and Durban, plus the semi-final and final.
As of yesterday (April 15) all matches were still available after additional tickets were put on sale for the semi-final and final.
The matches sold out in Cape Town and Durban include Nigeria v Korea Republic; England v Algeria; Germany v Australia; Netherlands v Japan; Cameroon v Netherlands; Portugal v Korea DPR and Spain v Switzerland.
With the beginning of the of fifth and final phase of World Cup ticket sales, soccer fans in South Africa thronged various ticketing centers in their thousands to the extent that the computer system crashed.
The rainbow nation is also gripped with a high dose of patriotic fever which is helping in bringing people together, rallying behind their team in the green and yellow.
Despite the long queues people are determined to wait extra long hours to get the tickets.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Mexican and US citizens form part of the leading ticket purchasing fans among the participating countries, as such South African authorities have done away with the travel visa requirements for Mexicans and other nationalities.
The only condition associated with this arrangement is for individuals or groups to pre-book their World Cup packages. And on arrival you can make use of special express queues designed for the purpose at airports.
Mexico kickstart their World Cup adventure against the hosts South Africa (ranked 88th) at the Soccer City Stadium (above) on June 11.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
With the start of the 2010 WC drawing closer, FIFA has unveiled the ticket design of the tournament to be held in SA.
The tickets show the match's location, kick-off time, the teams involved, together with the seating numbers and holder's name.
A barcode identifies the origin of the ticket and a security hologram is also incorporated into the tickets - it is part of the measures taken to prevent counterfeiting.
The last ticket sales phase kicks off on 15 April and ends on July 11.
Friday, April 9, 2010
Korea DPR performed beyond expectations by qualifying for this year's World Cup. The Asian zone team is renowned for its capacity to cause astounding upsets.
In the 1966 World Cup in England the Koreans went all the way to the quarter-finals, by gallantly claiming the scalp of Italy,1-0.
They went on to score three goals within 25 minutes in the quarter-finals against Portugal, only for the Portuguese to regain control in a 5-3 comeback thriller.
North Korea's top guns include Hong Yong-Jo (FC Rostov), Mun In-Guk (April 25), Jong Tae-Se (Kawasaki Frontale).
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Soccer World Cup Fever has caught up with the gorgeous R&B/POP singer, she joined forces with African artists to produce a single that celebrates the beautiful game.
Kelly will record the single with South Africa's Jozi, Silkour, Kwesta and Zuluboy, Cameroon's Crotale, Senegal's Awadi, Ghana's Samini, Nigeria's 2Face, Lebanon's Rola and Uganda's Chameleon.
The collaboration will culminate with the release of the World Cup track later this month.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
'Legends are made of this', the 2009 World Player of the Year, Lionel Messi is simply the best there is at the moment.
The Argentina and Barcelona forward is synonymous with the spectacular, and fans around the world can't wait to enjoy a heavy dose of the 22 year old's football wizadry at this year's football showcase.
Argentina will face Korea Republic, Greece, and Nigeria in Group B.
Messi has represented his country at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championships, 2006 World Cup in Germany, Copa America and the Olympics in Beijing.
Monday, April 5, 2010
Born on 17 August 1977, the outstanding French striker has captured the imagination of the world with his pace and marksmanship in front of goals.
And despite his recent 'hand of God' incident in the World Cup qualifiers play off match against the Rep. of Ireland, the striker still commands a lot of respect and admiration.
The World Cup winning Frenchman is expected to spearhead an onslaught of Le Bleus' opponents in Group A who include South Africa, Uruguay and Mexico.
Henry currently plays for Barcelona and he started his colourful career in 1990 at AS Monaco and went on to join Juventus, followed by Arsenal in 1999.
Apart from winning the World Cup, the legendary striker has won numerous league titles, Euro 2000 and the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup.
Born on the 24th of October 1985, Wayne Rooney is currently in scintillating form, and is expected to be a live wire for England at the World Cup in South Africa.
Despite picking an injury in the match against Bayern Munich, the Manchester United star striker should still make the trip down south and light up the stadiums.
The fiercely passionate forward started his career with Everton in 2002 and later moved to Man United in 2004.
Rooney represented his country at the 2006 World Cup, and has lucrative endorsement deals with Nike, Nokia, Ford, Asda and Coca-Cola.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
The South African national team currently on a training camp in Brazil have taken a tumble on the FIFA World rankings from 81st to 88th, the team's worst position ever.
The World Cup hosts find themselves as the second lowest team among the 32 finalists with Korea DPR at 105, while N. Zealand stands at 79.