14 June 2010It was not just the 84 490 fans seated in Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium that celebrated the start of Africa’s historic World Cup on Friday. Aside from the estimated 500-million global television viewers, more than 400 000 fans celebrated at the 16 official Fan Fests and other public viewing areas both in South Africa and abroad.The opening match between South Africa and Mexico was followed by 300 000 enthusiasts at the Fan Fests in the host nation, while over 100 000 people attended the six international Fan Fests in Rome, Paris, Berlin, Sydney, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro.The largest spectator groups were at the Fan Fests in Johannesburg and Soweto, with over 75 000 apiece. In Mexico City, meanwhile, 50 000 gathered at Zocalo to support El Tri against Bafana Bafana.‘We are the lucky generation’At Elkah Stadium, the official Fifa Fan Fest in Soweto, 40 000 fans gathered to celebrate the first game of the 2010 Fifa World Cup. As the whistle blew to begin play on the pitch, a cacophany of sound emanated from the fans – the 2010 Fifa World Cup had officially started.In Thokoza Park, a public viewing area near Elkah Stadium, thousands of residents stood dancing, blowing their vuvuzelas and waving South African flags. “I am so happy this day has arrived,” said Matthew Jabula. “We are the lucky generation! It feels so great to be out with everyone celebrating South Africa’s World Cup.”‘I’ve never seen anything like it’John Kretlow is from the USA, but for the opening game he was supporting Mexico in Thokoza Park. “We were the only Mexico fans in the crowd, I think,” said Kretlow. “But everyone was super nice and wanted to know where we were from and get to know us.”Kretlow travelled to the 2006 Fifa World Cup in Germany, but has never experienced anything like the South African football spirit. “I’ve never seen anything like it. The people here really know how to live it, it’s totally different, I’ve never seen so much excitement in my life.”Cape Town goes crazyThe tournament may have kicked off in Johannesburg, but Cape Town certainly showed that the Mother City can throw a party – in both the Fan Fests and at Green Point Stadium, which hosted France vs Uruguay.Cape Town crowds exploded at the Grand Parade, which is host to the Fifa Fan Fest, as 18 000 people watched Bafana Bafana and Mexico open the first match. And after the final whistle the crowds made their way toward Green Point stadium for Cape Town’s opening match.A French supporter, who introduced himself as Jacques, said: “I’ve been here for three days and I’m very impressed with what I’ve seen. The stadium looks beautiful, and I hope my team wins tonight!”Fifa Fan FestsThe Fifa Fan Fests were an enormous success story at Germany 2006, when millions of people of all genders, religions, races and ages watched the matches peacefully together.The Fan Fests are continuing in 2010 as the recommended alternative for fans who do not have a ticket to the stadium. They also offer supporters around the globe the opportunity to watch all 64 South Africa 2010 matches and feel truly part of the tournament.The International Fifa Fan Fests are organized at six iconic locations around the world:Berlin – Olympic Stadium (11-18 June) / Strasse des 17. Juni (23 June-11 July)Rome – Piazza di Siena, in Vila BorgheseParis – Les Jardins du TrocaderoRio de Janeiro – Copacabana beachMexico City – ZocaloSydney – Darling HarbourSource: 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa Organising Committee
The Congress party will launch an “affirmative and positive” campaign in Rajasthan to counter the “acrimonious” charge of the BJP and advocate a new model of governance while highlighting the failures of the Vasundhara Raje-led government, Member of Parliament Sachin Pilot has said.Buoyed by the results of recent byelections to local bodies, where the Congress fared well, the party has decided to strengthen its base at the booth level. It would reach out to every voter through an aggressive mass contact programme to be launched soon, the Rajasthan Congress chief said. He said the Congress would not merely highlight the BJP’s failures, but would offer them a better alternative.“We will present the people with the blueprint of a model of alternative governance which will be holistic and inclusive, will care for the young and old, create jobs and have a vision to take the State forward,” Mr. Pilot said. Rajasthan goes to the polls in 2018.
1 dead, 3 injured in Quezon road crash Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Azkals manager Dan Palami said the road to Qatar begins with a weeklong training camp in Bangkok starting March 18.Palami said there will be 42 players in the pool with the majority of them newcomers to the Azkals pool.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption charges“The camp gives us an opportunity to really take a closer look at new players who can represent not just the senior team, but also the Under-22 team for the Southeast Asian Games,” said Palami. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed Hong Kong tunnel reopens, campus siege nears end View comments LATEST STORIES MOST READ Japan ace tows Southwoods to first-round interclub lead Trump campaign, GOP groups attack Google’s new ad policy SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Raring to continue its improvement, the Philippines will expand its talent pool as it prepares for the next cycle of World Cup qualifying beginning in September.After losing all three matches against higher-ranked opponents in their first AFC Asian Cup appearance in January in the United Arab Emirates, the Azkals are now setting their sights on making a strong push for qualification to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.ADVERTISEMENT