Friday, June 11, 2010

The FIFA World Cup Starts With Fanfare

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Logo courtesy: FIFA.com

The month-long FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) World Cup football competition started today, June 11, with an impressive opening ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa, reports the BBC. South Africa is the first African country to host these games.

The inaugural ceremony consisted of songs by South African and international musicians, dances from different countries and welcome video appearance by former South African president Nelson Mandela. Due to his grand-daughter's sudden death in a road accident the previous day, Mr. Nelson Mandela could not be personally present at the ceremony.

Thirty-two countries will compete in 64 games. These countries are: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, Ivory Coast, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Honduras, Italy, Japan, Korea Democratic People's Republic (North), Korea Republic (South), Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Paraguay, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Uruguay, and the USA.

Among the dignitaries present were South African President Jacob Zuma, South African Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, UN Secretary General Ban-ki-moon, Mexican President Felipe Calderon, Monaco's Prince Albert and US Vice President Joe Biden.

It is estimated that about three billion people will watch the World Cup in South Afica.




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