LOC promises "colourful" closing ceremony

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Johannesburg - A combination of fireworks and the latest light effects technology will mark the closing ceremony of the FIFA World Cup on Sunday night, organisers said.

The ceremony, to be broadcast to millions of TV viewers world-wide, will take place at Soccer City Stadium from 18:30.

"We are looking at youthful and technological advanced closing ceremony and because it is at night time the event will feature a lot of lighting technology," spokesperson Jamaine Craig said on Wednesday.

He confirmed that Shakira and local group Freshlyground will be performing their number one hit "Waka Waka (This Time For Africa)" during the closing ceremony.

The Official song of the 2010 World Cup has reportedly reached one million sales mark since it became available on 11 May, making the fastest-selling single and the biggest-selling World Cup single in the history of the tournament.

It is still not clear who, between President Jacob Zuma or FIFA President Sepp Blatter, will be handing over the trophy to the winning team as there is no official protocol for this.

FIFA has also announced that a whooping three million spectators have so far turned up at stadiums across the country since the start of the World Cup.

The soccer governing body described the figure as the third highest overall total ever in the history of the flagship event, behind only the 1994 and 2006 tournaments. "It's very impressive and we are expecting another milestone as the tournament progresses to the final matches," said spokesperson Nicolas Maingot.

Fan Fests also continued to be a resounding success and FIFA is hoping to have recorded a five million world-wild attendance when the tournament closes on Sunday. On Tuesday, night Cape Town recorded a turnout of 49 144 people watching the game at a Fan Fest, the highest for the Mother City so far.

Maingot said at least 800 category one ticket were still available for tonight's game between 2006 hosts Germany and Spain in Durban. This will be the 21st encounter between the two sides and it is Germany who has marginally the better record with eight victories to the Spanish's six.

The two teams have met three times in a FIFA World Cup and Spain are yet to come out on top. Die Nationalelf notched successive 2-1 victories in 1966 and 1982 before the teams recorded their only draw in the finals in 1994.

The sides last squared up in the final of UEFA Euro 2008, when the La Roja triumphed with 1-nil courtesy of a goal by Fernando Torres. This is the first time that the finalists of a European Championship have both qualified for the semi-finals in the subsequent edition of the World Cup. The match kicks-off at 20:30.