The FIFA WORLD CUP 2010 host Nation - South Africa.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup is the 19th FIFA World Cup, the premier international association football tournament, being held in South Africafrom 11 June to 11 July. It is the first time the finals of the tournament have been staged in an African host nation. South Africa were selected as hosts in May 2004 over Morocco and Egypt, following a bidding process open only to African nations. The previous World Cup finals were held in 2006 in Germany, while the next World Cup is due to be held in Brazil.
The finals tournament sees 736 players representing 32 qualifying teams compete in games held in ten stadiums across the country for theWorld Cup trophy. The 32 qualifying teams were selected from a pool of entrants comprising 204 of the 208 FIFA national teams in a qualification process that began in August 2007. With 204 initial entrants, the 2010 World Cup equals the 2008 Summer Olympics as the sports event with the most competing nations.
The finals began on 11 June with the group stage, in which the 32 qualifying teams were reduced by half by playing in groups of four teams for points over three matches per team. The 16 remaining teams advanced to the knockout stage, beginning on 26 June. Ties after normal time are settled using extra time or a penalty shootout if necessary, up to and including the World Cup Final, scheduled for 11 July at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg.
Africa was chosen as the host for the 2010 World Cup as part of a short-lived policy, abandoned in 2007, to rotate the event among football confederations. Five African nations placed bids to host the 2010 World Cup: Egypt, Morocco, South Africa and a joint bid from Libya andTunisia.
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.
The winning bid was announced by FIFA president Sepp Blatter at a media conference on 15 May 2004 in Zürich; in the first round of voting South Africa received 14 votes, Morocco received 10 votes and Egypt no votes. South Africa, which had narrowly failed to win the right to host the 2006 event, was thus awarded the rights to host the tournament.
During 2006 and 2007, rumours circulated in various news sources that the 2010 World Cup could be moved to another country. Franz Beckenbauer, Horst R. Schmidt and, reportedly, some FIFA executives, expressed concern over the planning, organisation, and pace of South Africa's preparations. FIFA officials repeatedly expressed their confidence in South Africa as host, stating that a contingency plan existed only to cover natural catastrophes, as had been in place at previous FIFA World Cups.
Zakumi (born 16 June 1994 ) is the Official Mascot for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He is a cheerful and sporty leopard with green hair, presented on 22 September 2008. His name comes from "ZA", the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code for South Africa, and "kumi", a word that meansten in several African languages, referencing the year 2010.
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The FIFA World Cup (also called the Football World Cup, the Soccer World Cup, or simply the World Cup) is an internationalassociation football competition contested by the men's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association(FIFA), the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the first tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the Second World War.
The current format of the tournament involves 32 teams competing for the title at venues within the host nation(s) over a period of about a month – this phase is often called the World Cup Finals. A qualification phase, which currently takes place over the preceding three years, is used to determine which teams qualify for the tournament together with the host nation(s).
During the 18 tournaments that have been held, seven national teams have won the title. Brazil have won the World Cup a record five times, and they are the only team to have played in every tournament. Italy, the current champions, have won four titles, and Germany are next with three titles. The other former champions are Uruguay, winners of the inaugural tournament, and Argentina, with two titles each, and Englandand France, with one title each.
The World Cup is the world's most widely viewed sporting event; an estimated 715.1 million people watched the final match of the 2006 World Cup held in Germany. The current World Cup is being held in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010, and the 2014 World Cupwill be held in Brazil.