TODAY -

2010 FIFA World Cup

By:- Jadavchandra Haobam *



1. Host : South Africa.

2. Edition : The 2010 FIFA World Cup will be the 19th FIFA World Cup.
2010 : First time that FIFA World Cup has been hosted by an African Nation. Only Oceania Football Confederation is yet to host the FIFA World Cup.
2002 : First time held in Asia and the only tournament with multiple hosts (South Korea & Japan)
2014 : The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be hosted by Brazil.

3. Period : 11 June to 11 July, 2010

4. Host selection : Five African nations, South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia and Libya placed bids to host the 2010 World Cup : South Africa won the bid by 14 votes. Morocco got 10 votes, Egypt nil. Tunisia withdrew from the bid and Libya bid was rejected. The venue for 2010 World Cup was announced on 15 May 2004.

5. Qualification :
a. Host : As the host nation, South Africa qualifies automatically. However, South Africa participated in World Cup qualifiers because the CAF qualifiers also serve as the qualifying tournament for the 2010 African Cup of Nations.
b. Nations involved : The 2010 FIFA World Cup involved 204 of the 208 FIFA National Teams. The final number of teams entered breaks the previous record of 199 entrants set during the 2002 FIFA World Cup. 2006 had 198 entrants.
c. Defending champions : As was in the past, Defending Champions was not given an automatic berth, and Italy had to participate in qualification.

6. List of qualified teams : The following 32 teams qualified for the final tournament.
AFC (4) : Australia, Japan, Korea DPR (North), Korea Republic (South)
CAF (5+1) : Algeria, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa
CONCACAF (3) : Honduras, Mexico, United States
CONMEBOL (5) : Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay
OFC (1) : New Zealand
UEFA (13) : Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland

7. Qualification controversies : Controversy surrounded several of the final qualification matches in November 2009.
In the second leg of the play-off between France and the Republic of Ireland, French captain Thierry Henry, unseen by the referee, illegally handled the ball in the lead up to the winning goal, which saw France make the final 32 teams ahead of Ireland. The incident caused widespread debate on FIFA Fair Play, and how matches should be refereed at the highest level. Ireland requested a replay on grounds of fairness, but this was denied by FIFA under the Laws of the Game.
Costa Rica also complained over Uruguay's winning goal in the CONMEBOL–CONCACAF playoff.

There was crowd trouble around two matches between Egypt and Algeria, with the Algerian team bus stoned before the first in Cairo, and reports of Egyptian fans ambushed after the second in Khartoum, Sudan. Local media made lurid reports, and diplomatic relations between the countries nosedived.

In response to the incidents during qualification, and to a match fixing controversy, on 2 December 2009 FIFA called for an extraordinary general meeting of their Executive Committee. After the meeting, FIFA announced that they would be setting up an inquiry into technology and extra officials in the game, but they did not announce the widely expected move of fast-tracking the introduction of goal-line referee's assistants, already being trialled in the Europa League, and instead restated that the competition in South Africa would be officiated as before, with just one referee, two assistants, and a fourth official.

8. Prize money and club payments : The total prize money on offer for the tournament was confirmed by FIFA as $ 420 million, a 60 per cent increase on the 2006 tournament.
Before the tournament : Each participating team would receive $ 1 million, for preparation costs.
Once at the tournament : Teams exiting at the group stage would receive $ 8 million.
Round of 16 : $ 9 million
Quarter-finals : $ 18 million
Semi-finals : $ 20 million
Runners up : $ 24 million
Winners : $ 30 million
Domestic Clubs : For the 1st time in the World Cup, there would also be payments to be made by FIFA to the domestic clubs of the players representing their national teams at the FIFA World Cup.
This would see a total of € 26 million (Euro) being paid to domestic clubs, amounting to just over € 1,000 (Euro) per player per day.
This was the result of an agreement reached in 2008 between FIFA and European clubs for compensation dating back to 2005 over the financial cost of injuries sustained to their players while on international duty, such as that from Belgian club Charleroi S.C. for injury to Morroco's Abdelmajid Oulmers in a friendly game in 2004, and from English club Newcastle United for an injury to England's Michael Owen in the 2006 World Cup.

9. Mascot : Zakumi is the official mascot of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Zakumi (born 16 June 1994, now aged 15), is 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. The mascot's colours reflect those of the host nation's playing strip—yellow and green. Zakumi's birthdate coincides with a day known and celebrated as Youth Day in South Africa and their second group match. The year 1994 marks the first non-racial nationwide elections in South Africa. He will turn 16 in 2010.

The Zakumi's official motto is : "Zakumi's game is Fair Play." The motto was seen in the digital advertisement boards during the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, and it will also appear at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

10. Match ball : Adidas Jabulani which means "bringing joy to everyone" in isiZulu is the official match ball of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In all the World Cups only one type/brand of ball was used. But, interestingly in the final of the 1st World Cup held in Uruguay in 1930 between Uruguay and Argentina, due to a dispute, a different ball was used in each half, one chosen by each team. Argentina's ball (I-Shape) was used for the first half, and Uruguay's ball (T-Shape) was used for the second half.

11. The number eleven : The number eleven is very significant concerning with 2010 FIFA World Cup.
- Jabulani is the 11th World Cup match ball made by the German sports equipment maker, Adidas. - The ball features 11 colours, one for each player on the pitch - There are 11 official languages of South Africa. - Also, the event will start on the 11th day of June and end on the 11th day of July.

12. Venues : 2010 FIFA World Cup matches will be played at 10 venues (Stadia) located at nine Cities. In fact, in 2005, the organisers released a provisional list of thirteen venues to be used for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This was narrowed down to ten venues which were officially announced by FIFA on 17th March 2006:

i. Johannesburg : Soccer City (94,700 capacity) and Ellis Park Stadium (62,567 capacity).
ii. Durban : Moses Mabhida Stadium (70,000 capacity).
iii. Cape Town : Cape Town Stadium (69,070 capacity).
iv. Pretoria : Loftus Versfeld Stadium (51,760 capacity).
v. Port Elizabeth : Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium (48,000 capacity).
vi. Bloemfontein : Free State Stadium (48,000 capacity).
vii. Polokwane : Peter Mokaba Stadium (46,000 capacity).
viii. Nelspruit : Mbombela Stadium (43,500 capacity).
ix. Rustenburg : Royal Bafokeng Stadium (42,000 capacity).

13. Preparations : The Lukasrand Tower in Pretoria sports a football in anticipation of the world cup. Five new stadiums have been built for the tournament, and five of the existing venues are upgraded. Construction costs are around R 8.4 billion.

In addition to the stadiums being built and upgraded, South Africa also improved its current public transport infrastructure within the various cities, with projects such as the Gautrain and the new Bus Rapid Transit system (BRT) has been titled Rea Vaya. The country is also going to implement special measures to ensure the safety and security of local and international tourists attending the matches in accordance with standard FIFA requirements including a temporary restriction of flight operation in the airspace surrounding the stadiums.

FIFA has rated the readiness/preparation of South Africa for the 2010 World Cup at eight on a scale of ten.

14. Construction strike : 70,000 construction workers working on the new stadiums walked off their jobs on 8 July 2009. The majority of the workers receive R 2500 per month but the unions allege that some workers are grossly underpaid—some receiving as little as R 160 (£3.11) a month. The World Cup organising committee downplayed the strike and the stadiums are ready.

15. Relocation rumours : During 2006 to 2007, rumours circulated that the 2010 World Cup could be moved to another country. Some people, including Franz Beckenbauer, H.R. Schmidt and, reportedly, some FIFA executives, expressed concern over the planning, organisation, and pace of South Africa's preparations. However, FIFA officials repeatedly expressed their confidence in South Africa as host, and stated that the event will not be moved. However, FIFA had also contingency plan to hold the World Cup elsewhere only in the event of a natural catastrophe. The same was the case with 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.

16. Controversies : Evictions : As with many 'hallmark events' throughout the world, the 2010 FIFA World Cup has been connected to evictions which many claim are meant to 'beautify the city', impress visiting tourists, and hide shackdwellers. On 14th May 2009, Durban-based shack-dwellers took the KwaZulu-Natal Government to court over their controversial Elimination and Prevention of Re-Emergence of Slums Act, meant to eliminate slums in South Africa and put homeless shackdwellers in transit camps in time for the 2010 World Cup. They have gained a lot of publicity for their efforts even in the international media.

In July 2009, South Africa was hit with rolling protests by poor communities who demanded access to basic services, jobs, adequate housing and the democratisation of service delivery. These protests have been linked to the World Cup as protesters complain that public funds are being diverted away from social issues to build stadiums and upgrade airports. Fears have been expressed that the growing protests by shack dwellers could result in the tournament being disrupted.

17. Non FIFA events : FIFA regulations ban other sport events in host cities during the time of the World Cups. It was reported that a rugby match between the Springboks and France has been scheduled to take place in Cape Town on the 12th June 2010 and the match was to move to Europe. After nogatiations between SARU and members of the local organizing committee it was announced that the match will be allowed to take place in Cape Town on the 12th of June 2010 due to the fact that it will not be played on the same day or at the same venue as a World Cup match.

18. Final Draw : The draw for the finals took place on 4 December 2009 in Cape Town. The seeding was based on the October 2009 FIFA World Ranking. While drawing fixture, geographical criteria also were respected, meaning that no two teams from the same confederation were drawn in the same group (except European teams, where a max. of two will be in a group). The group draw was staged at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, South Africa. The balls were drawn by English football star David Beckham and African sporting figures Haile Gebreselassie, John Smit, Makhaya Ntini, Matthew Booth and Simphiwe Dludlu.

19. Referees : FIFA selected the following referees (30 nos.) for the 2010 FIFA World Cup : AFC (4) : Khalil Al Ghamdi (Saudi Arabia), Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan), Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh (Malayasia), Yuichi Nishimura (Japan)
CAF (4) : Mohamed Benouza (Algeria), Koman Coulibaly (Mali), Jerome Damon (S-Africa), Eddy Maillet (Seychelles)
CONCACAF (4) : Joel Aguilar (El Salvador), Benito Archundia (Mexico), Carlos Batres (Gautemala), Marco Antonio Rodríguez (Mexico)
CONMEBOL (6) : Carlos Amarilla (Paraguay), Héctor Baldassi (Argentina), Jorge Larrionda (Uruguay), Pablo Pozo (Chile), Óscar Ruiz (Columbia), Carlos Simon (Brazil) OFC (2) : Michael Hester (New Zealand), Peter O'Leary (New Zealand)
UEFA (10) : Olegário Benquerença (Portugal), Massimo Busacca (Switzerland), Frank De Bleeckere (Belgium), Martin Hansson (Sweden) Viktor Kassai (Hungary), Stephane Lannoy (France), Roberto Rosetti (Italy), Wolfgang Stark (Germany), Alberto Undiano Mallenco (Spain), Howard Webb (England)

20. The Matches : 1. Group League Matches
Group-A : South Africa, Mexico, Uruguay, France
Group-B : Argentina, Nigeria, South Korea, Greece
Group-C : England, USA, Algeria, Slovenia
Group-D : Germany, Australia, Serbia, Ghana
Group-E : Netherlands, Denmark, Japan, Cameroon
Group-F : Italy, Paraguay, New Zealand, Slovakia
Group-G : Côte d'Ivoire, Portugal, Brazil, North Korea
Group-H : Honduras, Chile, Spain, Switzerland

Round of 32 :

Date 11/06 (S-Africa - Mexico; Uruguay - France)
12/06 (Argentina- Nigeria; South Korea-Greece; England-USA);
13/06 (Algeria-Slovenia; Germany-Australia; Serbia-Ghana);
14/06 (Netherlands-Denmark; Japan-Cameroon; Italy-Paraguay);
15/06 (New Zealand - Slovakia; Côte d'Ivoire-Portugal; Brazil-North Korea);
16/06 (Honduras-Chile; Spain-Switzerland; South Africa-Uruguay);
17/06 (France-Mexico; Greece-Nigeria; Argentina-South Korea);
18/06 (Germany-Serbia; Slovenia-USA; England-Algeria);
19/06 (Ghana-Australia; Netherlands-Japan; Cameroon-Denmark);
20/06 (Slovakia-Paraguay; Italy-New Zealand; Brazil-Côte d'Ivoire);
21/06 (Portugal-North Korea; Chile-Switzerland; Spain-Honduras);
22/06 (Mexico-Uruguay; France-South Africa; Nigeria-South Korea; Greece-Argentina);
23/06 (Slovenia-England; USA-Algeria; Ghana-Germany; Australia-Serbia);
24/06 (Slovakia-Italy; Paraguay-New Zealand; Denmark-Japan; Cameroon-Netherlands);
25/06 (Portugal-Brazil; North Korea-Côte d'Ivoire; Chile-Spain; Switzerland-Honduras)

Round of 16 :
Date 26/06 (1. Winner A - Runner B; 3. Winner C - Runner D);
27/06 (4. Winner D - Runner C; 2. Winner B - Runner A);
28/06 (5. Winner E - Runner F; 7. Winner G - Runner H);
29/06 (6. Winner F - Runner E; 8. Winner H - Runner G).

Quarter Finals :
Date 02/07 (C. Winner 5 - Winner 7; A. Winner 1 - Winner 3);
03/07 (B. Winner 2 - Winner 4 ; D. Winner 6 - Winner 8).

Semi Finals :
Date 06/07 (I. Winner A - Winner C);
07/07 (II. Winner B - Winner D).
3rd Place : 10/07 (Loser I - Loser II).

Final Match : 11/07 (Winner I - Winner II).

21. FIFA Partners : Adidas, Coca Cola, Emirates, KIA, Sony, VISA. 22. FIFA World Cup Sponsors: Budweiser, Castrol, Continental, Mc Donalds, MTN, Satyam, Yingli Solar. 23. National Supporters for 2010 FIFA World Cup : FIFA.com, Ultimate South Africa, FNB, Neo Africa, Prasa, Telkom, 20 Centres for 1020.


* Jadavchandra Haobam wrote this article for The Sangai Express. This article was webcasted at e-pao.net on 20th April 2010.

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