2010 Final Draw kicks off

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cape Town - The 2010 Final Draw is currently underway at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, where the tournament schedule for 2010 FIFA World Cup will be drawn.

The event got off to a lively start when world-famous local artist Johnny Clegg opened the stage, with scenes of Africa in the background and dancers dressed in traditional Africa garb from the Jazz off Dance Theatre.

In a special video message, former President Nelson Mandela said that soccer enjoyed great popularity and had a particular place in the hearts of people and that was why it was so important that the FIFA World Cup would for the first time ever be hosted on the South African continent.

"We feel privileged and humbled that South Africa has been given the singular honour of being the Africa host. We must strive for excellence in our hosting of the World Cup, while at the same time ensuring that the event leaves a lasting legacy for all our people."

President Jacob Zuma, FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Italian President, Giorgio Napolitano, representing the defending champions, placed the gold FIFA World Cup trophy on a stand in the centre of the stage, to the applause of the thousands off guests attending the event.

Zuma said that he was very proud of South Africa and the continent of Africa. "We believe that the world is going to be surprised because the cup that has come to Africa will remain in Africa," said the President.

Blatter described the World Cup coming to Africa as a love story. "The World Cup is recognition of Africa because Africa has been waiting for so long. The World Cup must be used to champion long lasting legacy projects these include football for hope."

The 32 teams, who qualified for the World Cup, are anxiously waiting to see who they will be playing against at the World Cup next year.

Meanwhile, fans have poured into the Long Street FIFA Fan Fest, where large screens have been set up giving them a chance of a live time to watch the draw live.