With barely 35 days to the kick off of the FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa, we present to you facts and figures about the 2010 World Cup.
This is the first time the FIFA World Cup is taken place on the African continent and South Africa is making history as the first African country to host the event.
Only one team that will be making its World Cup debut. Slovakia is the only team to make its first-ever tournament appearance. The last time that occurred was in 1950 but there were only 13 participants at that edition.
Brazil has won the World Cup outside its own continent twice 1958 in Sweden and 2002 in Korea/Japan. None of the other six winners have ever done so.
South Africa had to overcome bids from Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia and Libya in order to get the hosting right for the World Cup. South Africa received 14 votes from FIFA’s executive committee in May 2004, while Morocco had 10 and Egypt 0. Tunisia and Libya withdrew after FIFA ruled it would not consider joint bids.
Should Thierry Henry make it to the World Cup, he will become the first Frenchman to play in four finals.
Five referees were considered for each FIFA World Cup game.Following the Thierry Henry’s handball controversy in the match against Republic of Ireland, there was a proposal to use 5 referees for each game. However the proposal was dropped by FIFA.
Interestingly, all the six confederations will be represented in South Africa 2010. The last time this occurred was in Spain ’82 when New Zealand qualified for the finals.
Only seven countries have won the World Cup since inception and all the seven teams Brazil, Italy, Germany, Argentina, Uruguay, England and France will be in South Africa.
In conducting the draws for the group stages, eight teams were seeded by FIFA. South Africa along with Italy, Brazil, Spain, Argentina, Germany, Holland and England were all seeded. For the first time, the top eight were determined solely by the October’s FIFA rankings and not by performance at any previous World Cup.
Nine cities namely Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, Polokwane, Nelspruit and Rustenburg will host matches of the tournament.
Ten stadiums will play host to matches of the tournament. The match venues are Johannesburg (Soccer City Stadium and Ellis Park), Cape Town (Green Point Stadium), Durban (Moses Mabhida Stadium), Pretoria (Loftus Versfeld Stadium), Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela Stadium), Bloemfontein (Free State Stadium), Polokwane (Peter Mokaba Stadium), Nelspruit (Mbombela Stadium) and Rustenburg (Royal Bafokeng Stadium).