Soccer City Stadium

Countdown to Africa World Cup begins

Countdown to Africa World Cup begins

Posted: 10 June 2010 Time: 02:13 pm

The curtain rises on Friday on the first World Cup staged by Africa with Group A rivals South Africa, Mexico, France and Uruguay in action on the opening day of the month-long tournament. 

Bafana Bafana face Mexico at the 90,000-seat Soccer City Stadium while France and Uruguay clash later at Cape Town Stadium in the other Group A fixture.   France, Uruguay and Mexico rank among the top 20 football nations in the world with South Africa lagging behind in 83rd place, but they have tradition on their side with no host nation failing to reach the second round.   South Africa are banking on huge home support from a crowd blowing deafening vuvuzelas and maybe the presence of world political icon Nelson Mandela to inspire Aaron Mokoena and his team.   Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar apart, South Africa lack high-profile footballers but training camps in Brazil, Germany and South Africa have reaped reward with the national team unbeaten in 12 warm-up matches.   Mexico boast a mix of youth and experience led by Barcelona veteran Rafael Marquez and would be hot favourites to triumph were the opening match anywhere but South Africa.   Spectators, who will watch an opening ceremony two hours before the 14h00 GMT kick-off, would not complain if they get a repeat of the 2006 opener goal feast that ended with a 4-2 victory for Germany over Costa Rica.   Germany, given little hope then despite an impressive World Cup pedigree, went on to finish third behind Italy and France, but that seems an unrealistic target for Bafana.   While President Jacob Zuma hopes to hand the trophy to Mokoena on July 11, many South Africans believe surviving the first round would be a wonderful achievement and a quarter-finals place miraculous.   France, who have appeared in two of the last three finals and won one, face Uruguay amid a salvo of criticism, with nothing but victory enough to satisfy the sceptics.   Raymond Domenech's team have been in underwhelming form, losing 1-0 to China in a warm-up last week, following a 2-1 win over Costa Rica and a 1-1 draw with Tunisia.   Since arriving in South Africa, they have adopted a siege-like mentality at a luxury resort to focus on the job in hand, training mostly behind closed doors.   This has not gone down well with an irate French media, while Sports Minister Rama Yade caused a stir when she said the team should have shown some "decency" during hard economic times by not using such swanky accommodation.   The World Cup offers another chance for Uruguay to relive their glory days. They collected the 1930 World Cup and repeated the feat in 1950, but have rarely made an impact at the global showpiece since.   This time round expectations at home are not high and coach Oscar Tabarez is keen to ignore the past.   Instead, he wants to focus on getting the best out of a talented, maturing squad who trounced Switzerland and Israel 3-1 and 4-1 respectively in recent friendlies.   Tabarez has already named his team to face the French with defender Mauricio Victorino and midfielder Egidio Arevalo Rios surprise choices.   Victorino, who plays in Chile with Universidad de Chile, replaces Andres Scotti of Colo Colo, also in the Chilean top flight, and Arevalo Rios from Penarol takes over from Walter Gargano of Napoli in a 3-4-1-2 formation.   "The system we have chosen can adapt to the different things we could face against France," said Tabarez, nicknamed 'El Maestro'.   Star striker Diego Forlan from Atletico Madrid will be partnered by Luis Suarez, who scored 35 goals for Ajax in the Dutch championship last season.   AFP 

Article by: AN Other

Previous comments on this story...

Anonymous
posted: 02:43 pm
24hr seems like 1 month for me. I can't wait any longer. I am dying to see Soccer City again. If gates were opening tonight I would sleep in there...
Mesh - K 4 L
posted: 03:02 pm
I'm getting VERY much emotional about this WC.It feels like the release from prison and the inauguration of u Tata uMadiba.

I guess there is no country like South Africa.These makes me so Happy to be a SOUTH AFRICAN and the WC taking place in my life time.

Funny thing though,when you go into the surburbs of Pretoria,there is no feeling of these WC.In the townships and surrounding areas the feeling is UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!!!!


TJO TJO TJO !!!!!!!

GOD BLESS EVERY SOUTH AFRICAN AND THOSE WHO SPREAD SHIT (THE BIASED MEDIA)
Ban Ki-moon
posted: 03:29 pm
“Mister Malema deliberately and intentionally... during a period of several weeks called for, on national and international television and through the printed media, the killing of the Boer and the farmer, intentionally committing the heinous international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, of murder, extermination, torture and rape.”
Anonymous
posted: 03:30 pm
Ayeye Mexigogo Ayeye. Bafana x2 are gonna show u how 2 make the circle bigger. show dem, show dem Bafana show dem..!!!
"FEEL IT, IT IS .................."
Bafana ka ..................
Ban Ki-moon
posted: 03:30 pm
The affidavit says 2380 members of the “minority” Afrikaner group were murdered in the past 16 years. Many women and children were raped and in many cases perpetrators had tortured “without reason”.

It says the ANC government denies the gravity of the situation “at all cost” despite the murder of Afrikaners being the highest of any group in the world per capita
Ban Ki-moon
posted: 03:31 pm
Currently, 328 murderers on Afrikaners are committed per 100,000 of the population a year.

The ANCYL said it was disgusted by “the insanity” shown by “some Afrikaner farmer” for lodging the complaint.

“The ANCYL is disgusted by the attention seeking sentiments and insanity of some Afrikaner farmer from Rustenburg who has reportedly lodged a complaint with the ICC about the singing of liberation songs in South Africa’s ANC-led liberation movement,” the league said in a statement.
Ban Ki-moon
posted: 03:43 pm
Mr Zuma you just 24hours to respond to these allegations else you will be sanctioned alongside Iran. This 21st Century and not 14th Century. Had we discovered this high level of crime and cannibal tendencies amongst your folk before you got the hosting right of the world cup, Mr Blatter would have been convinced to give it a second thought!
Ban Ki-moon
posted: 03:44 pm
Mr Zuma you have 24hours to respond to these allegations else you will be sanctioned alongside Iran. This is 21st Century and not 14th Century. Had we discovered this high level of crime and cannibal tendencies amongst your folk before you got the hosting right of the world cup, Mr Blatter would have been convinced to give it a second thought
Anonymous
posted: 03:49 pm
I have been to this new stadium twice already but I feel like I am going for the first time.

Ban Ki-moon
I feel you my brother/sister. That's sad indeed but cant you find another platform to raise such concern. Coz right now all we think of is uniting this hurting country. We have done nothing but fought each other over nothing and I am sure all of us black and white realize what we did to each other in the past was nothing but stupid. This beautiful event is healing the wounds and let us not dwell in the past and move forward together to the beautiful future. I hope you heal in time to enjoy this spectacular event. Your brother Broke Fan.
Ban Ki-moon
posted: 04:05 pm
@BrokeFan, You don't build a castel on a mole hill! whatever healing you think can derive from a passive moment of fantasy such as the world cup would only have a placebo effect in SA's reconciliation efforts. As a matter of fact that subject matter is fundamental and this forum is the best platform for it so that people will stop decieving themselves with untrue "We are One" slogans!
Kideo007
posted: 04:06 pm
This is dangerous for Bafana Bafana and they must not get carried away cause Mexico and Uruguay are VERY, VERY, VERY, DANGEROUS...MARK MY WORDS!!!
Anonymous
posted: 04:16 pm
Ban Ki-moon, those untrue "We are One" slogans! are a start. After this World Cup, we would be able to reflect back on what we did together and what we did divided. I strongly believe one day we shall unite for good. and together fight all these negative things around us. We have no choice but to do it for the better South Africa. If we can't do it for ourselves we shall do it for the next generations
Anonymous
posted: 06:49 pm
@benedict rapist mabeta, here we talk soccer not that rubish of yours. How does jz fit in here?.
Kideo007
posted: 07:38 pm
@ Ban Ki-moon

Stupid moron, go to hell & stop this nonsense/rubbish you tuning here. Its people like you that are dividing our beautiful country. Nxxx, moron!
Anonymous
posted: 11:49 pm
Sercurity (Editor), can you please remove this "Ban-ki moon" from this forum. Here we discuss revolutionary issues about soccer. The secretary general should sue you for defamation of character. Bastard, bloody agent!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous
posted: 11:49 pm
Sercurity (Editor), can you please remove this "Ban-ki moon" from this forum. Here we discuss revolutionary issues about soccer. The secretary general should sue you for defamation of character. Bastard, bloody agent!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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