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World Soccer Journeys


100 Days to World Cup Kickoff

Posted by WS Journey on March 2nd, 2010

JOHANNESBURG—In just 100 days, soccer fans from around the world will converge on 10 South African venues to watch 32 nations battle it out for the prestigious World Cup. Up to 500,000 international visitors are expected at the month-long event, which begins June 11. This is the first World Cup to be hosted by an African nation.

Organizing officials from FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) are currently in South Africa checking on preparations as well as the progress on stadiums being built for the event.

“In how many countries around the world can you see a stadium of the quality of Soccer City?” asked Jerome Valcke, FIFA general secretary. “Very few, I can say.”

South Africa will compete against Mexico in the opening match June 11 in Soccer City stadium, located in the Soweto township on the outskirts of Johannesburg.

The United States, which qualified for the World Cup by defeating Honduras in October 2009, plays against England June 12. This matchup pits two teammates from the Los Angeles Galaxy against each other in their World Cup opening games — midfielder Landon Donovan for the United States and midfielder David Beckham for England.

The Americans also are slated to play Algeria and Slovenia in the first round of matches.

Favorites to win this World Cup include Spain, Brazil, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Argentina and England.

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