Eyes of the World on South Africa

Beginning 11 June 2010 the eyes of the World will turn towards South Africa as the World’s game kicks off its greatest competition when the 2010 FIFA World Cup gets underway.

The 2010 tournament will be the 19th time the World Cup has been contested and it marks the first time in history that an African nation will host the World Cup.

Since 1930 the World Cup has been contested every four years, with the exception of 1942 and 1946 due to World War II. Men’s national team’s from 32 countries around the world have fought through qualifications to earn the right to represent their country in the biggest sporting event the world has to offer other than the Olympics. The World Cup is the most watched sporting event in the world with roughly 714.1 million people watching the final of the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

The 18 previous World Cup tournaments have resulted in seven winners. Brazil has been the most successful team in the World Cup with a record five World Cup titles and is the only nation to have participated in every World Cup.

Uruguay won the first ever World Cup when they hosted the tournament in 1930.

Italy is right behind the Brazilians in terms of success with four World Cup titles and the Italians are the defending champions having defeated France in the 2006 World Cup final. Six nations have won the World Cup in the year they hosted the tournament with Brazil being the only nation to have won without ever hosting. In total, 76 nations have played in at least one World Cup. The list of the seven World Cup winners includes:

  • Brazil 5 (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002)
  • Italy 4 (1934, 1938, 1982, 2006)
  • Germany 3 (1954, 1974, 1990)
  • Argentina 2 (1978, 1986)
  • Uruguay 2 (1930, 1950)
  • France 1 (1998)
  • England 1 (1966)

As the World prepares for its greatest football tournament, the nation of South Africa prepares to host the tournament on African soil for the first time ever.The South African government has invested millions of dollars to prepare elite stadiums to host the World’s game in its biggest tournament.The competition will take place at 10 venues in nine cities across the country.

In total the South African government pledged to build five new stadiums to accomodate the needs of a World Cup tournament.

Three new match stadiums were constructed, two new practice pitches were built, and all five existing stadiums underwent massive upgrades. In addition to stadium construction and upgrades, South Africa has constructed a mass transit railway system between Johanessburg and Pretoria to ease traffic on the main transit corridor between the two cities. A new rapid transit bus system was also started to handle increased transportation needs for tourists.

The World will be watching, as it always is, when the most popular sport on the globe takes center stage in for one of the biggest sporting events known to man.

32 of the World’s elite soccer nations, representing six continents will meet in South Africa to determine who will be crowned the king’s of football.

Will a traditional powerhouse like Brazil, Italy, or Germany rule the pitch? Or will an upstart shock the World and take the crown? The only way to know will be to join millions of your brothers and sisters in watching the 2010 World Cup.