25 questions about the 2010 Fifa World Cup

South African football fans are seriously
enthusiastic about their sport, and their
national team.
(Image: Chris Kitchhoff,
MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more free
photos, visit the image library.)

MEDIA CONTACTS
• Matlhomola Morake
Bafana Bafana Team Media Officer
+27 82 7444 919
morake@safa.net
• Morio Sanyane
Director: Communications and Media
South African Football Association
+27 82 99 00 835
morio@safa.net
• Wolfgang Eichler, Fifa Media Officer
+27 11 567 2010 or +27 83 2010 471
media-sa@fifa.org
• Delia Fischer, Fifa Media Officer
+27 11 567 2010 or +27 11 567 2524 or
+27 83 201 0470
media-sa@fifa.org
• Jermaine Craig, Media Manager
2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa Local
Organising Committee
+27 11 567 2010 or +27 83 201 0121
jermaine.craig@2010oc.com

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Whether you plan to be watching the games in a stadium or fan park on the southern tip of Africa, or on the screen back home, here are the answers to 25 frequent questions about the 2010 Fifa World Cup, and the host country.

1. Has South Africa hosted big events before?
2. Who are Bafana Bafana?
3. What’s the difference between football and soccer?
4. What’s a vuvuzela?
5. Will South Africa benefit from the World Cup?
6. Can I use the 2010 Fifa World Cup logo?
7. In what stadiums are the games being played?
8. Where can I find photos of the stadiums?
9. What’s the match schedule?
10. Which cities are hosting matches?
11. Are tickets still available?
12. Should I come even if I can’t get tickets?
13. What time zone is South Africa in?
14. What will the weather be like?
15. How do I get to South Africa?
16. How do I get around?
17. Where do I stay?
18. What if I fall ill?
19. What are the people like?
20. What languages do South Africans speak?
21. Are there lions in the streets?
22. What’s the beer like?
23. And the food?
24. Other than watch football, what else is there to do?
25. And the nightlife?

1. Has South Africa hosted big events before?

South Africa regularly hosts major international sporting events, and since 1994 has successfully managed some of the biggest – including the 1995 Rugby World Cup, 2003 Cricket World Cup, A1 Grand Prix (2006-), 2009 Indian Premier League, and 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup.

But the Fifa World Cup, the world’s biggest single-code sporting event – in terms of television audience, bigger than the Olympic Games – is in a class of its own.

For four weeks starting 11 June 2010, South Africa will be the centre of the world. The 2006 World Cup in Germany was the most extensively viewed event in television history. South Africa 2010 will draw even bigger audiences. The eyes of billions of television viewers, millions of international visitors and the cream of the world’s sporting media will be focused on the southern tip of Africa.

Find out more on SouthAfrica.info:

2. Who are Bafana Bafana?

Our national football team is known as Bafana Bafana – “the boys, the boys” in isiZulu. The nickname comes from the fans’ cry that went up during the team’s triumph at the 1996 African Nations Cup (also hosted in South Africa). Since the end of apartheid and South Africa’s sporting isolation, Bafana Bafana have twice qualified – in 1998 and 2002 – for the Fifa World Cup.

3. What’s the difference between football and soccer?

Nothing. While the game is largely known as football in Europe, in the former British colonies – including South Africa, the US and Australia – it’s mostly still called soccer (from the British Football Association, best known for the FA Cup).

4. What’s a vuvuzela?

Some would say it’s South Africa’s national musical instrument. It’s a big plastic trumpet, brightly coloured, and is blown with gusto by all fans at every football match in the country. The sound it makes is something between the bellow of a constipated elephant and the buzzing of a giant swarm of baritone bees, but South Africans like it. A lot.

5. Will South Africa benefit from the World Cup?

It has been estimated that the 2010 Fifa World Cup will sustain an estimated 695 000 jobs and have a gross impact of R93-billion (US$12.1-billion) on South Africa’s economy. A projected 373 000 foreign tourists will visit South Africa during the World Cup, each spending an estimated R30 200 ($4 000) on average per trip.

However, the indirect spin-offs from improved perceptions abroad could have an even greater, longer-lasting impact, not only on South Africa and its development but on the continent as a whole. A successful World Cup will help change the perceptions that a large number of foreign investors hold of Africa.

Find out more on SouthAfrica.info:

6. Can I use the 2010 Fifa World Cup logo?

Only accredited Fifa partners and sponsors are allowed to use the 2010 Fifa World Cup logo in their publicity and advertising.

7. In what stadiums are the games being played?

The 2010 Fifa World Cup matches will be held in 10 stadiums: two in Johannesburg and one in each of the other eight host cities. Together, the 10 stadiums will host 64 matches and seat more than 570 000 people during the course of tournament. Five of the 10 stadiums already existed but were upgraded, with Johannesburg’s Soccer City – venue of the opening and final match – undergoing a major upgrade. The other five stadiums were built from scratch. All have been completed well within schedule.

8. Where can I find photos of the stadiums?

There are hundreds of photos of stadiums, fans and host cities in the MediaClubSouthAfrica.com image library. You have to register with the site to access the library.

9. What’s the match schedule?

10. Which cities are hosting matches?

Nine South African cities will stage the 2010 Fifa World Cup. (See also: 2010 Fifa World Cup host cities)

Johannesburg

The economic hub of Africa, Johannesburg is a bustling, sprawling city of contrasts, spread across the small but densely populated province of Gauteng.

  • Johannesburg 2010 website
  • Nearest airport: OR Tambo International
  • World Cup stadiums: Soccer City and Ellis Park
  • World Cup matches: 10 first-round (including the opening) and two second-round matches, two quarterfinals and the final.

Cape Town

South Africa’s oldest and loveliest city lies in Table Bay on the Atlantic Ocean, in the south of the Western Cape province. Beautiful buildings, the nearby winelands, long white beaches and a rich cultural life make Cape Town South Africa’s most favoured tourist destination.

Durban

A warm subtropical place and the largest city in KwaZulu-Natal, Durban is a major tourist destination with the busiest port in South Africa.

Tshwane/Pretoria

Tshwane/Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa, lying north of Johannesburg in the province of Gauteng. Over 150 years old, it is a place of grand monuments, delightful architecture and lovely open spaces.

Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth

Known as the Friendly City, Port Elizabeth lies in Nelson Mandela Bay on the windswept Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape province.

  • Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth 2010 website
  • Nearest airport: Port Elizabeth Airport
  • World Cup stadium: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
  • World Cup matches: five first-round matches, one second-round match, one quarterfinal and the third-place playoff.

Mangaung/Bloemfontein

The former capital of a Boer republic and now capital of the Free State, Mangaung/Bloemfontein – the Afrikaans name means “flower fountain” – is a pretty city with thousands of rose bushes and some poignant memorials.

  • Mangaung/Bloemfontein 2010 website
  • Nearest airport: Bloemfontein Airport
  • World Cup stadium: Vodacom Park
  • World Cup matches: five first-round matches, one second-round match.

Rustenburg

Its tranquil Jacaranda-lined streets belie the fact that the Rustenburg area in North West province is one of the world’s most heavily mined regions, with a wealth of platinum underground.

Nelspruit

The capital of Mpumalanga province lies in the fertile valley of the Crocodile River, about 330km east of Johannesburg.

  • Nelspruit 2010 website
  • Nearest airport: Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport
  • World Cup stadium: Mbombela Stadium
  • World Cup matches: five first-round matches

Polokwane

The capital of Limpopo province is ideally situated near the border of the wildlife-rich, world-famous Kruger National Park.

  • Polokwane 2010 website
  • Nearest airport: Polokwane International Airport
  • World Cup stadium: Peter Mokaba Stadium
  • World Cup matches: four first-round matches

11. Are tickets available?

Yes – but they’re running out fast! More than 90% of the more than three-million tickets made available for the 64 matches of the 2010 Fifa World Cup have been sold. Hosts South Africa lead the sales with more than 1.1-million tickets purchased, followed by the US, UK and Australia.

12. Should I come even if I can’t get tickets?

Of course! The 2010 tournament is guaranteed to be, as South Africans say, a jol (a party). As in Germany in 2006, public viewing areas with giant screens will be set up. And you can always watch the tournament and get to know the locals at our numerous pubs, restaurants and sports bars.

13. What time zone is South Africa in?

South African Standard Time is two hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+2). During June and July – when the tournament will take place – South African time is the same as that in continental Europe, and an hour ahead of the UK. So matches that kick off at 9pm here will be comfortable viewing for Europeans, while US viewers will be taking a lot of early lunches – and Socceroo supporters will be starting their day at five in the morning!

14. What will the weather be like?

The World Cup will take place in the southern hemisphere winter – but it’s warm here in Africa. Johannesburg will be dry, with sunny days and fairly chilly nights. Rustenburg, Pretoria and Nelspruit will be warmer, but Bloemfontein will be very cold. Polokwane in the north will be dry and hot, warmer than most European summers. Durban will be pleasant and warm, with some humidity – and the deliciously balmy Indian Ocean to swim in. And while Cape Town is magnificent in good weather – and it can have good weather in winter – in June the city is generally cold, wet and windy, and its ocean icy cold.

Find out more on SouthAfrica.info:

15. How do I get to South Africa?

By air – unless you have a boat or rugged overland vehicle. Over 50 airlines and more than 30-million passengers a year move through South Africa’s 10 principal airports, including the three major international airports in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

Find out more on SouthAfrica.info:

16. How do I get around?

The host cities are all linked by air and train routes, and South Africa has a number of first-rate tour bus companies. The country’s road infrastructure is excellent, so it’s also a viable option to rent a car.

When it comes to travel within the cities, while South African public transport is not up to the standard of New York or London, there are options. The most popular form of public transport is the minibus taxi. Most host cities have Metro train and bus systems, and there are numerous meter cab companies. Otherwise, you can rent a car or use your hotel’s courtesy transport.

Find out more on SouthAfrica.info:

17. Where do I stay?

“The hotel sector in South Africa is first-rate,” the Fifa inspection team said in its country report. “There are enough hotel rooms to accommodate everyone taking part in the 2010 Fifa World Cup, including media representatives and fans from around the world.” Other options are the many bed & breakfast establishments in and around the host cities, and over 150 backpacker lodges.

Find out more on SouthAfrica.info:

18. What if I fall ill?

“On the whole, the health system has excellent facilities and perhaps one of the best private health systems in the world, drawing on modern technology and highly qualified specialists and medical staff,” the Fifa inspection team said in its report. “We have to add that there are fully equipped infirmaries with adequate first-aid facilities to meet every need in the stadiums proposed for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.”

Find out more on SouthAfrica.info:

19. What are the people like?

South Africa is a nation of over 49-million people of diverse origins, cultures, languages and beliefs. Visitors to the country always remark on how warm, friendly and welcoming South Africans are. We’ve had a difficult past, so we don’t waste time being difficult people! And we’re expert at having fun.

“We can say that the people of South Africa were always friendly, very boisterous and constantly celebrating during our visit to the country,” Fifa’s inspection team said in their country report. “[They] would stop and show their joy and support of the country’s commitment whenever our group passed by.”

20. What languages do South Africans speak?

South Africa has 11 official languages, including English. Nine are indigenous African languages, and one – Afrikaans – semi-indigenous, derived from Dutch but with strong influences from local languages. English tends to be the lngua franca, and is widely understood and spoken in the major urban centres.

21. Are there lions in the streets?

Er, no. But if you want to see wild animals, you won’t have to go far to do so. An hour’s drive from such urban jungles as Pretoria and Johannesburg you can see lions, elephants, buffalo and hundreds more species in their natural environments. There are wildlife lodges and game parks – including the huge and magnificent Kruger National Park – across the country.

22. What’s the beer like?

Cold and delicious! South Africans generally drink bottled beer, although most pubs offer a range of draughts. The major producer is South African Breweries, now a huge multinational doing business across the world. Lager is probably the favourite, followed by pilsener. In and around the stadiums, you’ll only be able to drink Budweiser – an official Fifa sponsor.

23. And the food?

Yummy, exotic and varied. South Africa’s people have diverse origins, cultures, languages and beliefs, and their food is a correspondingly rich smorgasbord. For the more daring, we offer culinary challenges from crocodile sirloins to fried caterpillars to sheep heads – delicious! For the less brave, there are indigenous delicacies such as biltong (dried, salted meat), bobotie (a much-improved version of shepherd’s pie) and boerewors (hand-made farm sausages, grilled on an open flame).

In the space of a single city street or shopping mall you’ll find Italian restaurants, two or three varieties of Chinese cookery and Japanese, Moroccan, French, Portuguese and Indian food. Not far away will be Congolese restaurants, Greek, even Brazilian and Korean establishments – and, everywhere, fusion, displaying the fantasies of creative chefs.

24. Other than watch football, what else is there to do?

So, so much, but where to begin? Try here:

25. And the nightlife?

Pubs, wine bars, township taverns known as shebeens, nightclubs, a variety of restaurants, mainstream theatre, avant-garde theatre, dinner theatre, movies … there’s no shortage of places to celebrate or cry into your beer after the match.