Final Draw to be a defining moment, says Cabinet

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Pretoria - With just over 24 hours to go before the 2010 Final Draw and the anticipation in South Africa mounting, Cabinet has identified it as a defining moment for South Africa.

The 2010 Final Draw, which will see the match schedule for the 2010 FIFA World Cup drawn, will be broadcast live at 7pm from the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Friday.

The event is expected to be addressed by President Jacob Zuma and Local Organising Committee chairman Danny Jordaan and will be presented by FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke and South African Academy Award winner Charlize Theron.

Also making appearances will be football star David Beckham, Ethiopian two-time Olympic gold medalist, Haile Gebrselassie, SA's own cricket star Makhaya Ntini, Springbok captain John Smit and Bafana Bafana defender Matthew Booth.

Other highlights during the event include the world premier of the official mascot, Zakumi. A handmade 3D animation will enable him to interact live on stage with the presenter during the show.

The 90-minute event, which will be beamed live across the world to more than 200 million people in 200 countries, is to be the final test for South Africa's preparation to host Africa's first FIFA World Cup.

The gravity of the event, which has seen thousands of people as well as representatives from 31 countries descending on Cape Town, has also been felt by members of Cabinet.

In its ordinary meeting on Wednesday, Cabinet highlighted the importance of the Final Draw.

It said that it had identified the event as a defining moment for South Africa to display its capabilities in ensuring that the world experiences the most memorable football event ever to be held on the African continent.

The procedure for the draw was approved earlier this week. The seeding was based on the October 2009 FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking and therefore Brazil, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Argentina and England are the seven squads that join host South Africa as seeded teams for the final draw.

The committee also approved the composition of the other pots as well as the procedure for the final draw.

Pot 2 will be composed of teams from Asia (Australia, Japan, Korea DPR, Korea Republic), North, Central America and the Caribbean (Honduras, Mexico, USA) and Oceania (New Zealand). Pot 3 will include teams from Africa (Algeria, Cameroon, C"te d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria) and South America (Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay) and Pot 4 will have the remaining European teams (Denmark, France, Greece, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland).

While hosts South Africa will be automatically positioned as A1; the other seeded teams will be drawn into the other groups B-H, but will always be in position "1" of their group.

Groups will be drawn from A to H and the positions in the group will be drawn for Pots 2 to 4.