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The 2010 FIFA World Cup will be the 19th FIFA World Cup, the premier international football tournament. It is scheduled to take place between 11 June and 11 July 2010 in South Africa. The 2010 FIFA World Cup will be the culmination of a qualification process that began in August 2007 and involved 204 of the 208 FIFA national teams. As such, it matches the 2008 Summer Olympics as the sports event with the most competing nations.

This will be the first time that the tournament has been hosted by an African nation, after South Africa beat Moroccomarker and Egyptmarker in an all-African bidding process. Italy are the defending champions. The draw for the finals will take place on 4 December 2009 in Cape Townmarker.

Host selection

Africa was chosen as the host for the 2010 World Cup as part of a new policy to rotate the event between football confederations (which was later abandoned in October 2007). Five African nations placed bids to host the 2010 World Cup:
  • / (co-hosting)

Following the decision of the FIFA Executive Committee not to allow co-hosted tournaments, Tunisia withdrew from the bidding process. The committee also decided not to consider Libya's solo bid as it no longer met all the stipulations laid down in the official List of Requirements.

After one round of voting, the winning bid was announced by FIFA president Sepp Blatter at a media conference on 15 May 2004 in Zürichmarker. South Africa was awarded the rights to host the tournament, defeating Morocco and Egypt.

Voting Results
Country Votes

  • withdrew on 8 May 2004 after joint bidding was not allowed

  • bid was rejected: bid did not meet the list of requirements and joint bidding was not allowed


As the host nation, South Africa qualifies automatically for the tournament. However, South Africa did participate in World Cup qualifiers because the CAF qualifiers also serve as the qualifying tournament for the 2010 African Cup of Nations. They were the first host since 1934 to participate in preliminary qualifying. As happened in the previous tournament, the defending champions were not given an automatic berth, and Italy had to participate in qualification.

The qualification draw for the 2010 World Cup was held in Durban, South Africamarker, on 25 November 2007.

List of qualified teams

The following 32 teams qualified for the final tournament.

AFC (4)
CAF (5+1)
  • (host)

OFC (1)

UEFA (13)

This is the first World Cup with no debutant associations, although two of the qualifiers (Slovakia and Serbia) have previously appeared as parts of former competing nations. In both cases FIFA considers these teams to have retained the earlier nations' records.

FIFA threatened Chile with disqualification from the World Cup on 26 November 2009. Domestic club Rangers attempted to get the Chilean courts to annul their relegation from the Primera División de Chile because they fielded an ineligible player. FIFA disapproves of government interference in football and ordered the Chilean Football Federation to resolve the dispute within 72 hours or face "appropriate sanctions", including suspension. The following day, Rangers dropped the case and accepted relegation, meaning Chile's place in the World Cup is likely to be safe. The FIFA Executive Committee will rule on the issue on 3 December 2009.

On 30 November 2009, Republic of Ireland asked to be included in the finals as a 33rd competitor. The Irish believe their place in the finals was unfairly denied by a Thierry Henry handball in extra time of the second leg of their qualification playoff against France. A previous request for the match to be replayed was denied for contradicting Law 5 of the Laws of the Game, which states that any decision made by the referee is final and cannot be changed or reviewed after the fact. FIFA President Sepp Blatter promised the issue would be discussed at the next meeting of the FIFA Executive Committee, on 3 December 2009. This request was rejected on 1 December 2009.


Zakumi, the mascot of the 2010 FIFA World Cup
The official mascot for the 2010 FIFA World Cup is Zakumi, 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.


In 2005, the organisers released a provisional list of thirteen venues to be used for the World Cup: Mangaungmarker/Bloemfonteinmarker, Cape Townmarker, Durbanmarker, Johannesburgmarker (two venues), Kimberleymarker, Nelspruitmarker, Orkneymarker, Polokwanemarker, Nelson Mandela Baymarker/Port Elizabethmarker, Tshwanemarker/Pretoriamarker (two venues), and Rustenburgmarker. This was narrowed down to ten venues which were officially announced by FIFA on 17 March 2006:

Johannesburgmarker Durbanmarker Cape Townmarker Johannesburgmarker Pretoriamarker
Soccer Citymarker Moses Mabhida Stadiummarker Cape Town Stadiummarker Ellis Park Stadiummarker Loftus Versfeld Stadiummarker
Capacity: 94,900 Capacity: 70,000 Capacity: 69,070 Capacity: 62,567 Capacity: 51,760
Port Elizabethmarker Bloemfonteinmarker Polokwanemarker Nelspruitmarker Rustenburgmarker
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadiummarker Free State Stadiummarker Peter Mokaba Stadiummarker Mbombela Stadiummarker Royal Bafokeng Stadiummarker
Capacity: 48,000 Capacity: 48,070 Capacity: 46,000 Capacity: 44,000 Capacity: 42,000


Five new stadiums are to be built for the tournament (three new match venues and two new practice grounds), and five of the existing venues are to be upgraded. Construction costs are expected to be R8.4bn.

In addition to the stadiums being built and upgraded, South Africa is also planning to improve its current public transport infrastructure within the various cities, with projects such as the Gautrain and the new Bus Rapid Transit system (BRT) titled Rea Vaya. Danny Jordaan, the president of the 2010 World Cup organising committee has said that he expects all stadiums for the tournament to be completed by October 2009.

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.

Construction strike

70,000 construction workers who were supposed to be working on the new stadiums walked off their jobs on 8 July 2009. The majority of the workers receive R2500 per month (about £192, 224 or $313), but the unions allege that some workers are grossly underpaid – some receiving as little as R40 (£3.11) a week. A spokesperson for the National Union of Mineworkers said to the SABC that the "no work no pay" strike will go on until FIFA assesses penalties on the organisers. Other unions threatened to strike into 2011. The World Cup organising committee downplayed the strike and expressed confidence that the stadiums will be ready.

Relocation rumours

During 2006 to 2007, rumours circulated in various news sources that the 2010 World Cup could be moved to another country. Some people, including Franz Beckenbauer, Horst R. Schmidt and, reportedly, some FIFAmarker 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, with FIFA president Sepp Blatter re-iterating that "Plan A... Plan B... Plan C is that the 2010 World Cup will be staged in South Africa". Blatter stated that there is a contingency plan to hold the World Cup elsewhere but only in the event of a natural catastrophe, and that the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany also had a similar contingency plan.

Despite reassurances by FIFA that the event would only be moved in the case of natural catastrophe, rumours continued to circulate about possible relocation of the event. These rumours were criticised by South Africa's Deputy Finance Minister Jabu Moleketi, saying that some have targeted the event to reflect their persistent negativity towards South Africa and Africa.


As with many 'hallmark events' throughout the world, the 2010 FIFA World Cup has been connected to evictions in South Africa which many claim are meant to 'beautify the city', impress visiting tourists, and hide shackdwellers. On 14 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.

The most prominent controversy surrounding preparations for the World Cup is the N2 Gateway housing project in Cape Townmarker, which plans to remove over 20,000 residents from Joe Slovo Informal Settlement along the busy N2 Freeway and build rental flats and bond houses in its place in time for the 2010 World Cup. The residents would be moved to the poverty stricken Delft township on the outskirts of the city and out of sight from the N2 Freeway.

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.

Group draw

The group draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup will be staged in Cape Townmarker, South Africa, at 19:00 (UTC+2) on 4 December 2009 at the Cape Town International Convention Centremarker.


All times are South African Standard Time (UTC+2)

Group stage

In the following tables:
  • Pld = total games played
  • W = total games won
  • D = total games drawn (tied)
  • L = total games lost
  • GF = total goals scored (goals for)
  • GA = total goals conceded (goals against)
  • GD = goal difference (GF−GA)
  • Pts = total points accumulated

The teams placed first and second (shaded in green) qualified to the round of 16.

Tie-breaking criteria
In world football, there are various methods used to separate teams with equal points in a league. For the World Cup tournament, FIFA uses the following system.

The ranking in each group is determined as follows:
  1. greatest number of points obtained in all group matches;
  2. goal difference in all group matches;
  3. greatest number of goals scored in all group matches.

If two or more teams are equal on the basis of the above three criteria, their rankings will be determined as follows:
  1. greatest number of points obtained in the group matches between the teams concerned;
  2. goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned;
  3. greater number of goals scored in all group matches between the teams concerned;
  4. drawing of lots by the FIFA Organising Committee or play-off depending on time schedule.

Group A

11 June 2010
v A2 Soccer Citymarker, Johannesburgmarker
A3 v A4 Cape Town Stadiummarker, Cape Townmarker
16 June 2010
v A3 Loftus Versfeld Stadiummarker, Pretoriamarker
17 June 2010
A4 v A2 Peter Mokaba Stadiummarker, Polokwanemarker
22 June 2010
A2 v A3 Royal Bafokeng Stadiummarker, Rustenburgmarker
A4 v Free State Stadiummarker, Bloemfonteinmarker

Group B

12 June 2010
B1 v B2 Ellis Park Stadiummarker, Johannesburgmarker
B3 v B4 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadiummarker, Port Elizabethmarker
17 June 2010
B1 v B3 Soccer Citymarker, Johannesburgmarker
B4 v B2 Free State Stadiummarker, Bloemfonteinmarker
22 June 2010
B4 v B1 Peter Mokaba Stadiummarker, Polokwanemarker
B2 v B3 Moses Mabhida Stadiummarker, Durbanmarker

Group C

12 June 2010
C1 v C2 Royal Bafokeng Stadiummarker, Rustenburgmarker
13 June 2010
C3 v C4 Peter Mokaba Stadiummarker, Polokwanemarker
18 June 2010
C1 v C3 Cape Town Stadiummarker, Cape Townmarker
C4 v C2 Ellis Park Stadiummarker, Johannesburgmarker
23 June 2010
C2 v C3 Loftus Versfeld Stadiummarker, Pretoriamarker
C4 v C1 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadiummarker, Port Elizabethmarker

Group D

13 June 2010
D1 v D2 Moses Mabhida Stadiummarker, Durbanmarker
D3 v D4 Loftus Versfeld Stadiummarker, Pretoriamarker
18 June 2010
D1 v D3 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadiummarker, Port Elizabethmarker
19 June 2010
D4 v D2 Royal Bafokeng Stadiummarker, Rustenburgmarker
23 June 2010
D2 v D3 Mbombela Stadiummarker, Nelspruitmarker
D4 v D1 Soccer Citymarker, Johannesburgmarker

Group E

14 June 2010
E1 v E2 Soccer Citymarker, Johannesburgmarker
E3 v E4 Free State Stadiummarker, Bloemfonteinmarker
19 June 2010
E1 v E3 Moses Mabhida Stadiummarker, Durbanmarker
E4 v E2 Loftus Versfeld Stadiummarker, Pretoriamarker
24 June 2010
E2 v E3 Royal Bafokeng Stadiummarker, Rustenburgmarker
E4 v E1 Cape Town Stadiummarker, Cape Townmarker

Group F

14 June 2010
F1 v F2 Cape Town Stadiummarker, Cape Townmarker
15 June 2010
F3 v F4 Royal Bafokeng Stadiummarker, Rustenburgmarker
20 June 2010
F1 v F3 Mbombela Stadiummarker, Nelspruitmarker
F4 v F2 Free State Stadiummarker, Bloemfonteinmarker
24 June 2010
F2 v F3 Peter Mokaba Stadiummarker, Polokwanemarker
F4 v F1 Ellis Park Stadiummarker, Johannesburgmarker

Group G

15 June 2010
G1 v G2 Ellis Park Stadiummarker, Johannesburgmarker
G3 v G4 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadiummarker, Port Elizabethmarker
20 June 2010
G1 v G3 Soccer Citymarker, Johannesburgmarker
21 June 2010
G4 v G2 Cape Town Stadiummarker, Cape Townmarker
25 June 2010
G2 v G3 Mbombela Stadiummarker, Nelspruitmarker
G4 v G1 Moses Mabhida Stadiummarker, Durbanmarker

Group H

16 June 2010
H1 v H2 Moses Mabhida Stadiummarker, Durbanmarker
H3 v H4 Mbombela Stadiummarker, Nelspruitmarker
21 June 2010
H1 v H3 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadiummarker, Port Elizabethmarker
H4 v H2 Ellis Park Stadiummarker, Johannesburgmarker
25 June 2010
H2 v H3 Free State Stadiummarker, Bloemfonteinmarker
H4 v H1 Loftus Versfeld Stadiummarker, Pretoriamarker

Knockout stage

Round of 16



Third place play-off


See also


  1. BBC and SABC report 70,000 while the AP, quoting the South African Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors, says 11,000
  2. ESPNsoccernet - World - FIFA exploring 3 alternate 2010 World Cup hosts
  3. Guardian: World Cup 2010: football brings defining moment for South Africa, 12 June 2009

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