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South Africa goes big for World Cup finals draw

Text by Emmanuel VERSACE

Latest update : 2009-12-04

Eyes around the world turn Friday to Cape Town, South Africa, for the 2010 World Cup finals draw that will divide the 32 qualified teams into eight groups. The dramatic and highly anticipated event will be televised in 200 countries.

If football fans have not yet grasped what the 2010 FIFA World Cup (to take place from June 11 to July 11) signifies for South Africa – it is the first to take place on the African continent --, Friday’s drawing of lots should help it sink in. A total of 5,000 participants and dignitaries will be present at the Cape Town International Convention Centre to attend the final draw, which will divide the 32 qualified teams into eight groups. 

According to the South African press, the draw will attract 3,254 volunteer workers, organising committee members, and FIFA personnel. The ceremony will take place on a massive stage – featuring three screens measuring 40 metres wide and eight metres high – with a 500-square-metre black vinyl floor. Eighteen cameras will be on hand to film the proceedings. Preparations for the event have been underway for a year, and famous South African musician Johnny Clegg, England football star David Beckham, and South African actress Charlize Theron will be in attendance. The ceremony will also be televised live in 200 countries around 8 pm local time (7 pm in France and 6 pm GMT). 

With 1,587 security agents called to duty from all the country’s police units, Cape Town residents will be able to watch the draw on any of several giant screens along the centrally located Long Street, which has been closed off to traffic for two days for the occasion. All eyes are turned towards a dramatic draw that carries with it the promise of a World Cup unlike any other that has come before.

 

Date created : 2009-12-04

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